Taxman finds R8-cr cash in RiddiSidhi raids

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SummaryTax department officials raiding leading Mumbai-based dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions (RSBL) for suspected hawala transactions and tax evasion stumbled upon cash worth R 8 crore along with jewellery and bullion, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Tax department officials raiding leading Mumbai-based dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions (RSBL) for suspected hawala transactions and tax evasion stumbled upon cash worth R 8 crore along with jewellery and bullion, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Tax officials started the raids on RSBL offices and other premises on Tuesday, which are still on and are expected to be completed by Thursday, Swatantra Kumar, director-general (investigations), I-T Mumbai, told FE.

Prithviraj Kothari, MD of RSBL, was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. His cell phone was also switched off. A tax official declined to comment if such raids will also be conducted on other jewellers.

"It's a big raid and will take some time to be completed. We have been cloning the data from the computers at RSBL offices. By Thursday, we will have a clear picture," Kumar said.

On Tuesday, Kumar said RSBL offices were raided for any irregularities in their export or import accounts, or if the company was involved in any hawala transaction. The turnover of the company--one of India's biggest bullion dealers--is huge, to the tune of R25,000 crore, he said. The tax officials will also investigate the company's suspected link with betting in the Indian Premier League.

Confirming the raids, Kothari said: "This is a routine income tax survey."

However, he denied any link to IPL betting.

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