KOCHI: Income Tax (IT) Department officers conducted raids at various business divisions of Pandalam-based Sreevalsam Group on Thursday and Friday, unearthing black money to the tune of Rs 400 crore.
Investigators are probing whether bureaucrats and politicians of Nagaland have invested with the business house owned by former Nagaland Deputy Superintendent of Police M K Rajendra Pillai.
The group has diversified interests including jewellery, textiles and gold loan. The group also owns resorts and schools in Kerala and in other states.
Starting at 11 pm on Thursday, the raids continued till 4 am on Friday. According I-T officers, the raid followed a tip-off about tax evasion and hoarding of black money.
Raids were also conducted at 20 business divisions of the group at Pandalam, Mavelikkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Aranmula, Bengaluru and New Delhi. The residences of Pillai and his relatives at Pandalam, Kottarakkara and Mavelikkara were also searched. Pillai is currently serving as advisor to the Nagaland Police Chief and is the consultant of the Transport Wing of Nagaland Police. I-T officers also found a vehicle of the Nagaland Police at his residence.
Officers are puzzled how a police officer can amass wealth to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore. The group also has business interests in Nagaland under benami owners, said senior I-T officers. They suspect the investments were made by bureaucrats and politicians in Nagaland.
“For this, we have to interrogate Pillai later,” an officer said. A senior officer of the investigation unit said the raid was stopped temporarily after the business group agreed to provide all the documents and declare its assets and revenue.
“Pillai owns three apartments in New Delhi, two flats and a business establishment at Bengaluru and properties worth Rs 300 crore in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Nagaland and other parts of the country,” the officer said. “The group owns five jewelleries and a gold loan firm with 50 branches. They are also eyeing investments in Malaysia,” he said.
An I-T officer said after the demonetisation reforms were introduced, the group had admitted to hoarding black money worth Rs 50 crore.