Published On: Fri, Jan 27th, 2023

ED attaches properties worth Rs 69 crore in TDS refund case

New Delhi: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has attached 32 immovable and movable properties, worth Rs 69 crore across Maharashtra and Karnataka in a fraudulent Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refund case.

Out of a total of Rs 263 crore, assets worth Rs 166 crore have been seized

The provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) have been invoked in the case due to the alleged bogus issuance of Rs 263 crore from the Income Tax (IT) Department by Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, a senior tax assistant and others.

Out of a total of Rs 263 crore, assets worth Rs 166 crore have been seized/frozen/attached by the ED provisionally. An attachment order under the PMLA was issued attaching 32 assets to the tune of Rs 69,65,99,720.

Earlier, freezing orders under the PMLA in respect of 33 bank accounts of various entities with a balance of Rs 96,23,47,885 with the seizure of cash worth Rs 2.85 lakh was issued. The attached assets include land, flats, luxury cars, in the name of Bhushan Anant Patil, Rajesh Shetty, Sarika Shetty, and Kriti Verma, amongst others.

The ED has initiated investigations under the PMLA based upon an FIR flagging bogus issuance of refunds for assessment Years 2007-08 and 2008-09. The FIR, filed by the CBI, stated that Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, while working as a tax officer, had access to RSA Tokens and login credentials of the higher authorities.

It is alleged that Tanaji orchestrated the fraud with others by fraudulently generating TDS refunds to the tune of Rs 263 crores. He allegedly transferred the amount across various bank accounts, including the account of Bhushan Anant Patil.

The CBI has filed a charge sheet against Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Anant Patil, and Rajesh Shantaram Shetty for offences of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Section 66 of IT Act 2000.

A probe revealed that between the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 12 bogus TDS refunds had been generated by Tanaji Mandal Adhikari. The amount, which was the proceeds of the crime (POC), was allegedly sent to the bank accounts held by Bhushan Anant Patil, other related persons, entities and also in Shell companies, the ED stated.

A probe revealed that land and plots in Lonavala, Khandala, Karjat, Pune and Udupi areas, flats in Panvel and Mumbai areas, along with movable assets in the form of three luxury cars (BMW X7, Mercedes GLS400d, Audi Q7) have been acquired out of the proceeds of crime.

Further investigation is under progress, the ED said.

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