Assets worth Rs.12 crore seized from a tea vendor-turned-money lender in Surat

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The Income Tax authorities in Surat have seized alleged unaccounted assets worth Rs. 12 crore from a tea seller-turned-money lender after raids were conducted at his premises as part of the nationwide crackdown against black money post demonetisation of high value currency bills in the country.

The I-T department sleuths conducted the search operations at tea seller’s house on Saturday, recovered Rs. 1.45 crore in cash, which included new currency of Rs. 1.05 crore.

Other assets seized were bullion worth Rs. 1.49 crore, gold jewellery valued at Rs. 4.92 crore, other ornaments worth Rs. 1.39 crore and silver ingots priced at Rs. 1.28 crore and other documents of immovable properties in the form of commercial shops, officials and residential properties.

“The total value of the assets seized from the money lender, who earlier operated a small tea and snacks stall stands at Rs. 12 crore and is likely to go up as more details come out,” I-T sources said as they refused to reveal the identity of the person, citing an ongoing probe. The Income Tax authorities also declined to divulge more details contending that the search operation was still underway.

So far, 13 bank lockers belonging to the person have been opened while four more lockers have been found and will be unlocked. “Besides lockers, we have also come across a dozen bank accounts which are being scrutinised,” a senior official involved in the operation in the IT said.

The taxman acted on a tip off regarding the money lender’s sprawling network of lending money at high interest rates to small businessmen in the Diamond City Surat.