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The income tax (I-T) department on Thursday seized gold jewellery, bullion and cash valued at more than Rs 200 million as part of its anti-black money drive against illegal private vaults operating in the national capital. With the latest seizure, the total value of these alleged tainted funds has risen to over Rs 610 million. Last week, the department seized unaccounted cash and bullion worth Rs 410 million from multiple lockers located in a private vault in the South Extension area of Delhi. Sources privy to the operation said income-tax sleuths had recovered Rs 160 million in cash, bullion worth Rs 23.5 million and jewellery worth Rs 10 million, and a few other gold items totalling Rs 200 million after they opened another private vault in the facility over the past two days.
The assets allegedly belong to a builder and a gutkha trader based in the national capital. A total of four such vaults, belonging to individuals and entities, had been opened till now, they said.They said the department initiated proceedings for tax evasion and under the benami assets law against the illegal vault holders. “The case pertains to cases of black money detected post demonetisation and some others being probed under the new anti-benami law. The lockers are now being opened and unaccounted assets seized,” a senior official said. The assessees did not allegedly declare these assets to the taxman and concealed them in these vaults. The private lockers or vaults, that operate like normal bank lockers, are illegal and not recognised under the law.