Massive Income Tax raids at premises of Sasikala kin enters third day

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An I-T official said that 100 bank accounts were frozen after it was detected that they belonged to 20-odd shell companies.

The raids are on at 40 places including Jaya TV office in Ekkathuthangal, MIDAS distillery near Tambaram owned by Sasikala and Jazz theatres. The residences of Sasikala's sister-in-law, Illavarassi's son Vivek at Mahalingapuram and daughter Krishnapriya at T Nagar continued to be searched. Pugazhendi is also under I-T scanner.

"We are focusing on Vivek's companies and properties.Yesterday, we had seized a number of land documents and subsequently met the original land owners".

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A report from Thanjavur, quoting police, said eight persons were arrested for allegedly preventing income tax officials from discharging their duty and entering into a wordy duel. Jaya TV premises in Chennai and Dhinakaran's farm house were searched as part of 'Operation Clean Money, ' under which premises belonging to ten Income Tax assessee groups were searched. While many political leaders had questioned the timing of the raids, sources said that plans were made several months ago based on inputs from several agencies including the Finance Ministry's Financial Intelligence Unit.

The official declined to comment on the reports about seizure of a good quantity of gold from one of the searched premises.

A large team of around 1,800 IT officials, on Thursday, had started raids at about 187 premises, residences, offices, farmhouses and other establishments in search of unaccounted money and wealth. The tax allegation covers aspects like shell companies, dubious investments, fund flow, and fudging of accounts. Though the sidelined deputy general secretary of the AIADMK (Amma), T.T.V. Dinakaran, has termed the searches as "vendetta politics", it appears to be the usual statement in order to gain sympathy.

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