Income Tax officials raided 23 locations of a unicorn startup group that deals in wholesale and retail construction materials. The officials found undisclosed income worth Rs. 224.25 crore in the company.
The Income Tax department has ended its raids on 23 locations of a unicorn startup group based in Pune and Thane. The unicorn wholesales and retails construction materials primarily.
A Pune-based start-up company has been found to have undeclared income worth Rs. 224.25 crore. According to the officials, this was the biggest find in any Pune-based company, especially in a start-up.
A unicorn company raided
The start-up is a unicorn, the company’s valuation is over a billion dollars, and it operates throughout India. An estimated 5,000 crores is the unicorn’s annual turnover.
Incriminating evidence found
As part of the operation, the team claimed to have seized incriminating evidence, including hard copies and digital data related to sham purchases, accommodation entries, and unaccounted cash expenditure of over Rs. 400 crore.
Company directors questioned
The directors of the start-up were questioned about this when they declared additional income of Rs. 224.25 crore, an income tax official said. The company has now agreed to pay the tax liability.
There is a presence of the group throughout India. A total of 23 premises of the company were raided across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during the search operation on March 9.
Mauritius also proved to be a source of large foreign funding for the company during the seizure operation. This was done by issuing shares at exorbitantly high premiums.
Shell companies excavated during search
During the search operation, an elaborate hawala network of some Mumbai and Thane-based shell companies was also uncovered. These shell companies only existed on paper and were created for the sole purpose of providing accommodation entries. The total accommodation entries of these shell companies exceed Rs. 1,500 crore, according to an initial investigation. To date, unaccounted cash of Rs. 1 crore and jewellery worth Rs. 22 lakh have been confiscated. Further investigations are underway.