The massive hunt for unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala's family, their business associates and their organisations by tax officials entered the third day on Saturday.
For the third consecutive day on Saturday, Income Tax (IT) officials continued their raids at around 40 locations in Chennai.
"Sizeable volume of cash and documents have been seized at the searched premises. The search operation is still on.
"The volume and value of cash and documents seized would be known only after they are totalled after completing the entire operation," the IT official, who did not want to be identified, had told IANS on Friday.
Meanwhile, according to a Times of India report, the tax sleuths seized Rs 6 crore in cash, 8.5 kg gold worth Rs 2.4 crore and documents relating to investments worth Rs 1,200 crore, for which their owners could not provide any source of income.
The report also claimed that diamond jewellery and Swiss watches were seized from the hostel rooms of Sengamala Thayaar Educational Trust Women's College, owned by Sasikala's brother V Dhivaharan at Sundarakottai in Mannargudi.
The search operations have been concluded in many places and in other places it is going on, tax officials said.
The searches are aimed at detecting tax evasion.
After analysis of the documents seized and clarifications obtained, tax demand would be raised and if the party pays the tax amount, including the penalty, the case would be closed depending on the other issues connected with the evasion, an official told IANS.
The searches were conducted in connection with unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran.
The IT department will look at the routing of funds within India whereas other agencies will look into the routing of money outside India, the official said.
According to him, the nature of this search operation "is different" and it is not just searching the premises and seizing unaccounted cash.
"We have information about shell companies and the search is in connection with their operations," he said.
Whether the bank accounts of the searched persons, companies would be "frozen to detect suspect transactions and other actions", would be taken only after collating the data from the seized papers.
On Thursday, a team of around 1,800 IT officials knocked at the doors of 187 premises-residences, offices and farmhouses -- to carry out one of their biggest searches on Sasikala's family and associates.
The places raided included the residence of M Natarajan, Sasikala's husband, in Thanjavur; Kodanad Tea Estate belonging to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa; Jazz Cinemas, Midas Distilleries, Sharada Paper and Boards, Senthil Group of Companies, Nilgiri Furniture in Coimbatore, Jaya TV, Namadhu MGR and several other premises in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.