I-T raids at over 100 places of VV Minerals

Chennai: Officials of Income-Tax (IT) department today conducted raids at over 100 locations connected to Tirunelveli-based mining company VV Minerals owned by S Vaikundarajan.

The company is India’s largest mining, manufacturer and exporter of Garnet and Ilmenite with significant market share in Europe, Middle East, East Asia, Australia and the USA.

Apart from this, the group owns various industries such as textiles, food and agro, minerals including chemical and pigments.

This morning, I-T sleuths carried out simultaneous searches at various locations in Tamilnadu. In the city, VV Minerals has its corporate office at Panthoen Road, Egmore and another office at Thiruvanmiyur.

At both places, two teams of I-T officials launched searches at 6 am this morning.

An Income-Tax source said, “The raids began early in the morning. Thirty seven teams have been formed and one team has gone to Madurai.”

More than 130 officials are conducting the raids with the assistance of police, it is learnt.

Even as officials have not confirmed the reason behind the ‘surprise’ raids, according to reports, the I-T department suspects that VV Minerals and its associates are involved in mining, processing and export of beach sand minerals in an alleged illegal manner that led the department to probe tax evasion charges against them.

The department and the sleuths are looking for documents , to substantiate these charges, during the raids, it is said.

The illegal and unaccounted income is allegedly being pumped into other businesses like educational institutions and hotels.

A TV news channel owned by Vaikundarajan has also come under Income-Tax searches. Raids are also being conducted in Andhra Pradesh, reports say.

So far, I-T teams conducted raids at eight places in Thoothukudi. They also searched premises belonging to VV Minerals in Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Karaikal in the State, and also in Vishakhapatnam and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.

Naomi N