I-T sleuths seize Rs 142.87 crore unaccounted cash during raids on pharma firm Hetero Drugs
The total unaccounted income unearthed during the searches is estimated to be around Rs 550 crore till now, I-T sleuths said. The search operation was carried out at about 50 locations in six states.
HYDERABAD: The Income Tax Department seized unexplained cash amounting to Rs 142.87 crore during the raids on the offices of Hetero Drugs and its promoters conducted on Wednesday and Thursday.
The total unaccounted income unearthed during the searches is estimated to be around Rs 550 crore till now, I-T sleuths said. The search operation was carried out at about fifty locations in six states including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
It was alleged that during the ongoing pandemic, Hetero, which had produced two important generic drugs for treating COVID-19 patients, had grown in wealth disproportionately, coming under the lens of the I-T department. It was learnt that the funds were diverted and invested in real estate deals.
During these searches, issues relating to discrepancies in purchases made from bogus and non-existent entities and artificial inflation of certain heads of expenditure were detected.
Further, evidence of on-money payment for purchase of lands was also found. Various other legal issues were also identified such as personal expenses being booked in the company’s books and land purchased by related parties below government registration value.
During the search, several bank lockers have been found, out of which 16 have been operated. The group is engaged in the business of manufacturing intermediates, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and formulations. The majority of products are exported to foreign countries i.e. US, Europe, Dubai and African countries.
During the searches, hideouts were identified where a second set of books of accounts and cash were found. Incriminating evidence in the form of digital media, pen drives, documents etc. have been found and seized. Incriminating digital evidence was gathered from SAP ERP software maintained by the group.
Further investigations and quantification of undisclosed income detected is in progress.