City Realtors used Brokers to Grab Lands from Farmers

AHMEDABAD: With each unaccounted income disclosures in the recent income-tax raids on four city-based groups, I-T detectives are disclosing newer shady froth of real estate business in the city. I-T officials have found that the raided real estate groups had given so much of freedom to brokers to grab lands from farmers. The property consultants would strike the deal with farmers, mainly to adjust the cash transaction, and realtor would appear only at the time of documentation.

Around 200 I-T detectives had on April 28 carried out a search and survey operation on 60 premises of four city-based groups, three of which are popular realtors, while the fourth group has one of city’s well-known jewelers as key promoter. The I-T officials searched many land brokers attached with the realtors and has got Rs 6 crore black money disclosure from one such broker from whom Rs 20 lakh cash was also captured. The total disclosures in the operation have already touched Rs 66 crore. Still more such disclosures are to come while premises of the fourth group are still sealed as the promoters are out on a trip to Singapore.

I-T officials have already struck gold in the first raid this financial year and have captured Rs 8.3 crore cash from realtors and property consultants. During the search at the jeweler’s premises, the officials found a difference of Rs 60 lakh in the stock officially declared and displayed at the shop. The department is now closing in on different ways evolved by realtors to avoid tax and ground black money. However, city realtors said that employing brokers while dealing with farmers is no new thing, but now these brokers are used to do foggy deals.

“A builder would book a land at the prevailing rate with token money given through brokers. The brokers would keep the farmers hanging and depending on the cash flow of the builder he would go ahead with the deal on his will,” the official said.

The department has earlier already found that the realtors searched used cheque transaction to record cash payments by the buyer against a property.

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