CHENNAI: The Income Tax Department on Tuesday searched the premises of four companies at 21 places in Chennai and 12 places elsewhere in Tamil Nadu.
A top Income Tax official said the target companies are the Marg Group, Ganga Foundation, Madurai-based Milan Textiles and Patel Group.
The searches are part of the Operation Clean Money drive launched in Tamil Nadu but have nothing to do with jailed AIADMK leader Sasikala and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran.
However, initial reports said the raids were connected to Sasikala's kin.
Operation Clean Money has been hunting for shell companies, illegal bank deposits after demonetisation and tax evasion.
The official said Income Tax officers have found that the Marg group has been running a large number of shell companies. Similarly, the Ganga Foundation, a real estate firm, is under the scanner for manipulation during demonetisation. Madurai-based Milan Textiles and Patel group, which are into timber and sugar mills are also being probed for floating shell companies.
The searches come in the wake of the recent arrest by the Chennai police of the chairman and managing director of the MARG Group, G R K Reddy, following a complaint by a customer who had booked flats in the group's delayed real-estate projects.
Incorporated in 1994, MARG Group operates the MARG Karaikal Port, which has a cargo handling capacity of 21 MMTPA. In addition, the group has developed 1.2 million square feet of residential space, delivered 1200 homes and has a customer base of over 4000. The group is executing 21 major projects worth more than Rs. 3800 crore in varied domains.
The Ganga Foundation is a privately held Chennai-based company engaged in developing housing and commercial space. It’s the promoter of the Chennai’s Spectrum Mall.