Income Tax officials on Wednesday conducted raids at the offices, factories and other premises of Lion Dates (P) Limited in Chennai and Tiruchy for tax evasion.
The searches were conducted at the company’s corporate office in Nungambakkam, apart from six to seven places in Tiruchy.
An Income Tax official said the search, carried out by ten teams, was conducted on the directions of Coimbatore office after getting information about large-scale tax evasion. There were also charges that the company was not maintaining its stocks with proper accounts. Though the officials remained tightlipped, sources said they seized several important documents. It is also said that the proprietors were asked to be present at the Chennai office for further investigation.
Apart from dates, the company also manufactures honey, jam and oats.
In Tiruchy, after the raids, the Income Tax officials questioned the owners till late in the night. A team comprising 50 officials headed by Sundaresan, Deputy Director of Income Tax (Investigation), and Ramalingam went to the company at 8 am and locked the gates. They asked the workers to switch off their cellphones. Landline phone was also disconnected.
The search operations were carried out at more than six factories, including packaging units, warehouses, the corporate office located at Thillai Nagar, the head office at Devadhanam and factory at Sarkarpalayam and proprietor P Ponnudurai’s house at Periyar Nagar. The head office of the company is located in Tiruchy and hundreds of employees work there. Devadhanam, on the outskirts of Tiruchy, is the main packaging unit for all the products.