I-T sleuths raid 50 premises of top diamond, gold firm
The Income Tax (I-T) department raided offices of Riddhi-Siddhi Bullion Ltd a top diamond and gold import-export firm yesterday
More than 300 I-T officials raided around 50 premises in Mumbai and six other cities including Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai. The firm is under the scanner for any links with the hawala racket that involves the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and spot fixing scandal. According to I-T officials, the raids started yesterday morning around 7 am. Most of the raids were carried out in Mumbai that also covered the firm’s head office in bullion market at Zaveri Bazar.
“We also raided residences of Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director of the firm, in Tardeo. Residences of two brothers of Kothari, and a dozen senior officials of the company were also searched. The raid will be continued for next two days,” said a top I-T officer. “We had inputs that the company is involved in hawala transactions,” said an officer “Without actual transactions, the firm showed bogus imports and exports of gold and diamond jewelleries.
Our investigation is focused on exploring the company’s deep routed involvement in the hawala transactions. We initiated the investigation as per Section 132 (Search and seizure) of Income Tax Act after we received substantial inputs of the same. We are also investigating if the company has any links with the hawala racket in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.” “Till date, we have no inputs about IPL hawala transaction,” said Swatantra Kumar, director general of Income Tax.
The Other Side
“It is a normal income tax raid which does not have anything to do with IPL at all. We request the media not to publish such information that creates a negative image of our company till the income tax department says something,” said MD Prithviraj Kothari, through a text message sent by his spokesperson.