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Raids on, 23 new areas under I-T lens

Himanshu Bhayani  |  Mumbai/ Rajkot 

As many as 23 areas in the city came under the Income Tax scanner, including offices of chartered accountants, financial consultants, tours and travels operators, land and building developers and jewellers on the second day of the ongoing raids.
was also on the list of the IT department as IT officials had demanded records of some of the account holders which include bank's chairman and its directors.
The raids were conducted to unearth the legal and illegal portion of money transacted in cash for an amount estimated to be Rs 250 crore. Unaccounted income worth Rs 2.5 crore has been scanned by I-T officials from ex-mayor Govind Solanki's office and residence premises.
The I-T department seized unaccounted cash and jewellery worth Rs 55-60 crore from all the 23 spot that were raided. The officials have sealed atleast 4 to 5 spots and further operations are on, explained an official source from I-T Department.
Officials also scanned bank accounts for cross-verification of those whose offices and residential premises were raided on Tuesday, he added.
Sources also added that they verified the transaction of account holders in one bank who also had accounts in other banks. "We will verify the transaction of such account holders in other banks tomorrow," said sources while adding that they have not raided banks.
IT officials also stormed the Rajkot Nagrik Sahakari Bank's (RNSBL) premises and main office of Rajkot Nagrik Sahakari Bank Limited in city on Tuesday and Wednesday
The offices of Kalpak Maniar, chairman of RNSBL and Jyotindra Maniar, director of the same bank have been sealed by the department.
However Jyotindra Mehta while speaking to Business Standard said, "They haven't sealed our office but they have taken important documents and files and have put them in a cupboard that has been sealed."
In this drive atleast 32 bank accounts are being scanned. "We have also sealed lockers owned by concerned parties whose offices and premise have been raided. Even DEMAT accounts are being scanned to authenticate the stock market transactions undertaken by concerned business operators," said an official source from IT department.
As there are certain traces of huge money laundering being done in penny stocks and affected later on after three months on documents, he added.
He further said, "It would be too early to speculate whether the concerned bank officials were involved in this cash transactions or they had even utilised the bank for same."
Meanwhile, IT officials have started tallying stock valuing Rs 100 crore from Radhika jewellers, an official informed.
During this raids, transactions valuing worth Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh were found in an account operated in the name of Dipen Bhagdev at Rajkot Sahakari Nagrik Bank Limited.
Bhagdev happens to be the Vice President of National Students Union of India (Youth Congress arm) and denies of never-ever opening an account with Bharatiya Janta Party's (BJP) activist operated bank.
"I was shocked when IT officials stormed at my residence and started interrogating me. I went to RNSBL's office and tallied the facts. There is a photograph is mine in my account document but the signature is not mine. Even the name of introducer is Rasila Shukla and this fake account on my name is operational since year 2001," explained Bhagdev.

First Published: Fri, March 24 2006. 00:00 IST