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The Income-Tax department continued its searches for the third day today at premises linked to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her kin over suspected tax evasion. I-T officials though did not elaborate on the value of cash and type of documents seized. The searches, including in this metropolis, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and a number of other locations in Tamil Nadu, that commenced on November 9 were going on at some places, a senior tax official told PTI. However, he declined to disclose how much cash and what type of documents were seized. In Cuddalore, a 10-member team is conducting searches at two residences and a jewellery shop. One of the residences belongs to an astrologer, who reportedly used to give advice to Sasikala, who is now in a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case. The raid on 187 locations was conducted by over 1,000 officials, who split into over 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 premises. Backed with inputs, including those from the Finance Ministry's Financial Intelligence Unit, the raids are being conducted. The allegations included suspicion of shell companies, dubious investments, suspicious fund flow and its transfers and fudging of accounts. Jaya TV premises in Chennai and Dhinakaran's farm house were searched as part of "Operation Clean Money", under which premises belonging to 10 Income-Tax assessee groups were raided. Dubbing the searches a "conspiracy", deposed AIADMK deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran has alleged it was to oust him and his jailed aunt from politics.
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