Rs 2 lakh crore declared by Bandra family does not belong to it: I-T dept
Mystery Mumbai family's claim that their net worth is Rs 2 lakh crore is just shady business, feel I-T sleuths. Income Tax department is now probing who else could be behind the fictitious declaration
The family had provided the income tax department with a fake address in this Bandra building
The mystery Mumbai family's claim that their net worth is Rs 2 lakh crore is just shady business, Income Tax (I-T) sleuths now suspect. The numbers just don't add up — their income doesn't match their claimed wealth, and officials suspect that either the family is lying or they are a front for other people's black money. The family had on December 4 come forward to declare the undisclosed wealth following the demonetisation drive.
The income declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore (that's five times more than BMC's annual budget) was made by the family of four — Abdul Sayed (self), Mohammed Sayed (son), Rukhsana Sayed (wife) and Noorjahan Sayed (sister).
The first sign of shady business was the fake address that they gave to the I-T department. As mid-day had reported earlier, they had listed their address as flat no 4 in the Jubilee Court building in the posh locality of Linking Road, Bandra west. However, residents of the building said they had never heard of the Sayed family and the flat had not been occupied for seven years.
Flat no 4 in this building had been listed as their address, but no one has lived there for seven years
The family had come forward under the income declaration scheme (IDS), which allowed citizens to come forward with undisclosed income without consequences, as long as they paid 45% of it to the government as due taxes, penalties and surcharge. The government rejected two applications — Ahmedabad's Mahesh Shah, who claimed R13,860 crore, and the Sayed family who claimed 14 times as much.
Income doesn't match
Officials had trouble believing that anybody could accumulate this much money. What makes it harder to digest is that the family's income sources just don't match up to this kind of wealth. "We cannot reveal the family members' profession, but we have found that their income sources do not justify this kind of wealth accumulation," said an official. The family also failed to deposit the first installment of the payment to the government, which adds up to around R22,500 crore, so their declaration stood rejected by default anyway.
Who's behind it?
The authorities are still trying to figure out what is behind this mystery — the family might have made a false claim or they could be a front for other people to park their black money. The department has quizzed the family for hours and are now combing through the declaration form to find discrepancies.
"The declaration by the family seems to be fictitious. Investigators are going through the details furnished in the declaration in order to ascertain if it was done out of mischief or if it was an attempt by some elements who wanted to take advantage of the scheme without disclosing their identity," said a senior I-T officer.
I-T officials also found that the family had a proper tax payment history and, in September, had even met senior officials in Mumbai around the time of the declaration. Further, they found that three out of the four family members have PAN cards issued in Ajmer. "Filing their declaration in Mumbai could possibly be a ploy to avoid suspicion, as such a large amount would have attracted more questions in a small city like Ajmer in comparison to the financial capital," said an official.
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