Raid on Surat financier: Over 2.67 kg gold seized by I-T, ED set to join probe


Continuing their raid on Surat financier Kishor Bhajiyawala, Income Tax officials seized gold ornaments worth Rs 2.67 crore from the locker of Bhajiyawala’s dummy account in Surat People’s Co-operative Bank on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to join the probe. The ED officials have also started collecting information about Bhajiyawala’s wealth from Surat Income Tax department. They are also trying to figure out whether money-laundering case can be registered against him.
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Since these raids started on December 13, the Income Tax officials have seized gold ornaments worth Rs 9.67 crore from Bhajiyawala’s lockers. I-T officials claimed to have seized property and sale deed documents worth thousands of crores from Bhajiyawala.
The search and survey operation, carried out by the Directorate of Investigation (DI) wing of the Surat Income Tax Department, is expected to continue for a few more days.
On Saturday, the I-T officials checked the register of the room which contains bank lockers and are checking the lockers operated by Bhajiyawala. The I-T officials found that apart from the bank lockers registered in his name, Bhajiyawala used to operate many other lockers. The officials checked one of the lockers operated by Bhajiyawala and found 2 kg gold ornaments worth Rs 2.67 crore.
Apart from this, acting on a tip-off, the I-T officials reached plot no. 23 at Udhyog Nagar Society, Udhna, on Saturday evening. I-T officials were told that the open plot is owned by Bhajiyawala.
Suspecting that Bhajiyawala might have hidden property documents or cash in the only hut built on the plot, they managed to go inside and search after a heated exchange with the five bouncers deployed there.
The I-T officials also carried out searches at the old jewelery shop in Bhagatalo area in Surat owned by Bhajiyawala. They seized several land-related documents from there. Bhajiyawala never used to give this shop on rent and it has been closed for long.
Sources said that the I-T officials have started investigating the new bank accounts opened in Udhna Branch of Surat People’s Co-operative bank from November 9 till date.
The officials suspect that Bhajiyawala could have opened new bank accounts and deposited cash in them. The I-T officials have started verifying such accounts.