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Income Tax searches on premises linked to jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, her kin and associates over suspected tax evasion were almost over, a senior official said today. The official though declined to give details of seizures made during the exercise. "The search part is over, now recording of statements and questioning are remaining," the I-T official said when he was asked if searches, which began on November 9, on the premises of Jaya TV and others had concluded. Asked if the search exercise, undertaken to detect tax evasion as part of "Operation Clean Money", was completed on all 187 premises, he said: "Yes, almost." "Whatever is left to be examined (articles, valuables, material) and documents... has been put under Prohibitory Orders (PO)," the official told PTI. Asked about the value of cash and type of documents seized during the raids, the official declined to answer saying "compiling" was yet to be done. The raids on 187 locations including in this metropolis, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and New Delhi were conducted by over 1,000 officials, who split into more than a dozen teams on day one of the searches on November 9. Subsequently, the number of officials carrying out the task shrunk with the conclusion of the searches at some places. The raids were conducted based on inputs, including those from the Finance Ministry's Financial Intelligence Unit. The allegations included suspicion of shell companies, dubious investments, suspicious fund flow and its transfers and fudging of accounts. The office of Tamil channel "Jaya TV" here, TTV Dhinakaran's farm house off Auroville near Puducherry and premises of several other relatives of Sasikala at various other places were searched. Dhinkaran, deposed deputy general secretary of the AIADMK, has termed the searches a "conspiracy" aimed at ousting him and his aunt from politics.
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