KOCHI: The Income Tax (IT) Department on Wednesday conducted simultaneous raids on over 60 branches of Kosamattam Finance in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Mumbai. IT officers interrogated Mathew K Cherian, the managing director of the finance company, at the IT office in Kottayam from morning.According to IT officers, a preliminary inquiry was conducted after irregularities were found in the income tax returns filed by the company. “The preliminary inquiry indicates income tax evasion by the company. This led us to conduct raids on units of Kosamattam Finance in different states,” an IT officer said.
The raids started around 6.45 am and continued till late in the night. In Kerala, the inspections were held at 36 locations, including the branches of the company and residences of its MD and senior executives. Apart from Kerala, checking was also held at over 15 branches in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Mumbai. “The MD of the company arrived at the Kottayam IT office in the morning. His statement was recorded. We will record the statement of other officers in the coming days,” an officer said.
IT officers said the raids would continue on Thursday as well. “Since several documents have to be examined, it will take time to complete the initial probe. We are checking the tax submissions of the company for the past six years,” an officer said. Kosamattam Finance is based in Kottayam and is active in the finance sector for the past 30 years. The company has presence in Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with a total of 921 branches across the country. The total income of the company during the financial year 2016-17 was around Rs 352.25 crore. The company had consolidated assets of Rs 2,122.37 crore in the financial year 2016-17. The gross loan portfolio of the company stood at Rs 1922.10 crore in the same time period.
George Thomas, CEO of Kosamattam Finance, said there was nothing unusual in the checking. “It was a normal checking and no tax evasion has taken place,” he said. He also denied reports that managing director Mathew K Cherian was interrogated by IT officers. “No interrogation took place,” he told Express.