The Income Tax Department on Wednesday carried out searches at 22 premises in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, Erode, Chennai and Namakkal on a group engaged in the running of educational institutions and their associates, including a civil contractor. The search was carried on the basis of information that fees collected from students were not fully accounted for in the regular books of accounts.
A statement issued by the Union Ministry of Finance said, "The evidence found during the search revealed that the allegations regarding suppression of fees received are true and the unaccounted receipts are siphoned off to the personal accounts of the trustees, which in turn are invested in real estate through a company.
"The other shareholders of the company, viz., an architect from Tirupur and a textile businessman were also covered. Electronic devices seized during the course of the search were being examined.
"During the searches in the case of the civil contractors from Namakkal, inflation of expenditure by booking bogus expenses under labour charges, material purchase, etc. has been found," said the statement.
The search has led to the identification of unaccounted investments and on-money payments to the extent of around Rs 150 crore.
"Cash amounting to Rs 5 crore has been seized. Some lockers are yet to be operated. Search is still continuing," said the Ministry.
"(With IANS inputs)