I-T raids at 74 places in TN; one detained for questioning

Popular retail chains were raided by Income Tax department today.

Chennai: The Income-Tax department today carried out raids at 74 places in Chennai and Coimbatore.

Several teams of I-T sleuths conducted searches at the popular retail chain Saravana Stores, Perambur-based Revathy Group and realty companies – G Square and Lotus group.

This is the second time this month that business entities are coming under the scrutiny of Income-Tax department.

Today, the raids began at 5 am with 40 teams of I-T surveying 72 places across the city. The teams conducted raids at two places in Coimbatore.

The Saravana Store has been shut following the I-T raids today

Properties of Saravana Stores’ promoter Yogarathinam Pondurai are also being covered as part of the action. The searches were carried out based on allegations of tax evasion, GST evasion and unaccounted money, sources said.

According to highly placed sources, “The teams visited offices and houses related to the business groups and went through books of accounts and other documents. Each team has 10 to 25 persons. They scrutinised transactions which were more than Rs 20 crore.”

“We are checking if any benami deals were involved. The raids took place at Mylapore, T Nagar in South Chennai and at a number of places in north Chennai including Perambur and Tondiarpet,” said another source.

Workers walking out of the store premises

Revathy group, based in Perambur, has interests in jewellery, furniture shop, textiles and super markets. Sources said one person has been detained for questioning, however nothing has been seized from the spot.

It may be noted that on 3 January, the I-T department raided a number of popular eateries, including Saravana Bhavan, Grand Sweets & Snacks and Hotbreads.

The raids took place at 32 restaurants across Tamilnadu including the head offices, houses of owners and restaurant branches. More than 100 I-T officials were part of it.

Photos: V M Srinivasan & R Thiyagarajan

NT Bureau