Income Tax department officials seized crores in unaccounted cash from lockers of the employees of real estate genius Lodha Group, five months after it has asked the company to pay Rs 60 crore in taxes. In January, the I-T department had raided about 20 premises of Lodha Group on alleged misquoted of income. The surprise visit by IT official was based on a tip off suggesting overestimated expenditure using faux receipts and cash payments from clients. The invade had shielded Mangal Prabhat Lodha the Chairman and his two sons the directors of the company.
While investigating the documents found at the premises, I-T officials came across details of bank lockers in the name of the company’s employees. When these lockers, in all 26, were invaded, unaccounted cash running into crores of rupees were found. In the first raid itself, the department had found unaccounted Rs 6.5 crores in an employee’s Kalbadevi locker. Addition to that Rs 1.5 crore were found in the offices and residential premises of the company’s owners. The I-T officials had also held over 10 note counting machines from the group’s offices. IT officials said the entire exercise was undertaken by the company to escape tax. Now, the I-T department has freezed the company’s annual income at Rs 200 crore and asked the Lodha Group to pay Rs 60 crore.