Income Tax raid: In a major crackdown against the tax evasion, the income tax department carried out raids at several places linked to wellness guru Kalki and his son. The raids were conducted at several locations in Varadaiahpalem in Andhra Pradesh and also in Chennai and Bangalore. The Income Tax Department conducted searches on a group of trusts and companies that run year-round wellness courses and training programmes at several locations in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
Although official statement did not mention the name of the wellness guru but a senior official in the income tax department confirmed to the Financial Express Online that the raids were conducted on the spiritual guru Kalki, his son and associates.
"It’s the same group," a senior income tax official told Financial Express Online in response to a query.
"There was intelligence that the group has been suppressing its receipts which are ploughed into investment in huge tracts of landed property in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and also in investments abroad," said the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
The raids that started on Wednesday still continued on Friday at nearly 40 locations in cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Varadaiahpalem.
During the raids, income tax officials found the evidence that the group was suppressing its receipts at its various centres or ashrams which was used for investing in real estate and abroad.
"A preliminary estimate of such unaccounted cash receipts is Rs. 409 crore from FY 2014-15 onwards. Such unaccounted cash receipts are also evidenced by huge quantities of cash and other valuables found at the residences of the founder and his son, and at one of the campuses," the CBDT said.
The self-styled wellness and spiritual guru has his headquarters in Chittoor near on Andhra-Tamil Nadu border.
The income tax department has seized a total cash of Rs 43.9 crore from the premises linked to Kalki and his son. It also seized 2.5 million US dollars and some other foreign currencies.
The department also seized nearly 88 kilogram undeclared gold with a value of over Rs 26 crore and also diamonds worth Rs 5 crore with the total value of undeclared goods at around Rs 93 crore. The total value of undeclared assets of the trust is estimated at around Rs 500 crore.
I-T department said the group was investing in a number of companies in India and abroad, including in tax havens.
"Some of these companies based in China, USA, Singapore, UAE, etc are found to be receiving payments from foreign clients who attend the various residential "wellness" courses offered in India," said the CBDT.