IN SEARCHES conducted on 37 premises associated with BMC contractors in Mumbai and Surat, the Income Tax department has detected tax evasion and money laundering to the tune of Rs 735 crore. The searches on entry providers and beneficiaries engaged in BMC contracts began on November 6.
An official said that the contractors under I-T scanner are Skyway Infraprojects Limited that has bagged several civil contracts, including renovation of BMC headquarters at CSMT; RPS Infra Projects Limited, blacklisted for seven years in the 2015 road scam; and Railcon Infraproject Limited.
“Reports have been received that certain contractors had taken entries in the form of loans among others from entry providers and inflated expenses in the books of accounts to suppress income,” the I-T official said. Entry providers or accommodation entry providers allow one to illegally route money through paper companies in exchange for commission.
In a statement, the I-T department said that incriminating evidence showing large-scale tax evasion and money laundering has been found. It has also led to the detection of the use of bogus companies (floated by entry providers) for giving entries to businesses in the form of loans or bills for expenses among others.
In the case of entry providers, systematic modus operandi of bank fraud and forgery has been detected, in which the promoters made investments in immovable properties and shares of group companies by siphoning the bank loans. In the case of the contractor groups, several instances about inflation of expenses by bogus purchases/sub-contracts and taking of loans from entry providers have been identified.
So far, detection on account of above mentioned issues is to the tune of Rs 735 crore and extent of accommodation entries is being quantified, the official said.