I-T Department seizes Rs 35 crore from private vaults in Chandni Chowk

By: | Published: December 8, 2018 2:28 PM

Chandni Chowk in Delhi's old city area was under Income Tax surveillance since a long time for all the unaccounted businesses that goes on in there. These unaccounted businesses create a huge amount of black money, that the IT department went after.

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Chandni Chowk in Delhi’s old city area was under Income Tax surveillance since a long time for all the unaccounted businesses that goes on in there. These unaccounted businesses create a huge amount of black money, that the IT department went after. Last week a private vault was raided by the officials, from where cash worth Rs 35 crore was seized mostly in currency notes of Rs 2000.

On Friday, the officials seized another stash of Rs 5 crore from vault owners in that area – some of which they owned up for, while the source of the rest was unknown, reported the Times of India. Till now around 50 lockers have been opened, and nearly a hundred more are to be searched.

All the lockers in the private vault were rented out to the traders in Chandni Chowk, where they used to stash their unaccounted income to avoid mandatory declaration under KYC of the banks.

The IT officials informed, there are several such private vaults across the national capital where the businessmen keep their cash, TOI reported. They were also reportedly gathering information about the owners of the vaults in Chandni Chowk, and those who could be identified have been issued summons, while many of the benami ones are yet to be identified.

Earlier in January this year, the IT department seized around Rs 85 crore in cash and jewellery from South Extension of Delhi. Much later an investigation revealed that the lockers were operated by businessmen, liquor mafias and builders. These private vaults have become more and more popular for generating black money, as they offer the secrecy that no commercial banks would. There are no regulators of these vaults, they do not even have any reporting mechanism – moreover lack of CCTV and other facilities, it becomes even more hard to determine the operators.

The CBDT had also approached the finance ministry to come up with a clear set of rules and regulations for such private lockers, as they adhere to very little KYC norms. The probe in the vault in South Extension earlier this year revealed that there were more than 100 lockers, which were rented out at an annual rate of at least Rs 1.5 lakhs, while a bank locker usually costs around Rs 1000 per annum.

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