I-T conducts major search at Rama Group

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Jun 2018 11:56:58


 

The Hitavada State Bureau

Raipur/Bilaspur/Raigarh/KorbA
 
After a prolonged slumber, Income Tax Department’s Investigation Wing on Wednesday mounted a major search and seizure operations, perhaps one of the biggest-ever in Chhattisgarh, covering over three dozen premises of Rama Group across four major districts including three major industrial districts Bilaspur, Raigarh Korba as well as State Capital Raipur.“In all, 42 different teams, comprising of 240 tax enforcers and 170 police personnel including 50 armed ones, were engaged in extensive and intensive search operations on the Rama Group, which is into diversified business verticles of infrastructure-real estate, coal, power and logistics. Directors of Rama Group are Rajesh Agrawal, Rajeev Agrawal and Sanjay Agrawal, all blood relatives to each other. The massive search operation is in preliminary phase and it would be too early to comment anything about its unforeseeable outcome even as the whole exercise has been initiated based on precise inputs and subsequent investigation of substantial tax evasion by the group,” a well-placed source in Income Tax Department told The Hitavada, requesting anonymity.
Sources averred that the entire operation, which commenced on early Wednesday morning at around 5.38 am, was being overseen by Alok Johri, Principal Director (Investigation Wing) for Chhattisgarh and it covered residential, office, site-premises of the Rama Group as well as their business partners, associates and investors in all four districts of the state. Taxmen from Delhi, West Bengal (Kolkata), Madhya Pradesh (Indore, Jabalpur and Bhind) and Jharkhand were also involved in the operations. “To ensure that the taxmen didn’t face any resistance during the operations, heavy escort of armed police have been ensured with every team,” the sources said.


Sources further said that the swoop was carried out following successive complaints of unaccounted income generated by the group from its coal washery and processing business on which the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have been reportedly keeping tab since quite a long time. The group has also been involved in import and export of coal to China and several other countries. “Tax sleuths may also be soon joined by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe money laundering done in the pretext of coal business by the group,” the sources added.
So far the preliminary investigation, according to the sources, has found Rajesh Agrawal, one of the three Directors of multi-billion Rama Group, also actively associated with other companies that too have come under ambit of search scanner. These company profile and documents finds Rajesh Agrawal as Director with over half-a-dozen companies including Mahanadi Krishi Upaj Private Limited; Rama Real Estate Private Limited; Ganpati Buildcon Private Limited; Zodiac Dealers Private Limited; Vasundhara Bhumi Tradecom Private Limited; Fortune Resources Private Limited and CG Institute of Education Private Limited.  
Similarly, Rajeev Agrawal was also found designated as Director and Managing Director with Mahanadi Krishi Upaj Private Limited; Hind Energy and Coal Benefication (India) Limited, Rama Real Estate Private Limited; Ganpati Buildcon Private Limited; Hind Multi Services Private Limited; G S Tracon Private Limited, Swastik Power and Minerals Resources Private Limited; Uniworld Industries Private Limited; RSR Realties Private Limited, Zodiac Dealers Private Limited; Rama Commercial Private Limited; ATMA Commerce Private Limited; Tandem Commercial Private Limited; Panther Vincom Private Limited; Bharti Infratech Private Limited; Ramakrishna Infracon (India) Private Limited; Fortune Resources Private Limited; CG Institute of Education Private Limited and Hind Foundation.


Apropos, Sanjay Agrawal, has also been traced to be designated as Partner and Director with over dozen companies and firms, Agranee Fuel Solution LLP; Mahanadi Krishi Upaj Private Limited; Hind Energy and Coal Benefication (India) Limited, Rama Real Estate Private Limited; Hind multi Services Private Limited, Clean Coal Enterprises Private Limited; RSR Realties Private Limited, Zodiac Dealers Private Limited; Rama Commercial Private Limited; ATMA Commerce Private Limited; Panther Vincom Private Limited; Bharti Infratech Private Limited; Fortune Resources Private Limited; Bharti Manpower Solutions Private Limited and CG Institute of Education Private Limited and Hind Foundation.
“Taxmen have seized heaps of incriminating documents pertaining with dubious transactions as well as proprietorship of several firms and companies associated with the group, while minute scrutiny of all previous and forthcoming projects and investment taken up by the group were underway,” the sources added.


According to a senior I-T official, Rama Real Estate Private Limited, an ISO 9001-2008 certified company – one of the front runner off-shoots of the Rama Group – has developed some signature infra projects with well known architects, planners and land designers, by investing several crores of rupees. A few key projects developed by the group includes Rama Magneto – The Mall spread over 3.5 lakh square feet area in the heart of Bilaspur City; Rama Valley township spread over 100 acres in Bilaspur; Rama Arcade commercial complex; Rama Green City spread over 40 acres and comprising of 500 bungalows and Rama Trade Centre spread over. In State Capital Raipur, its mega Swarnbhoomi Residential Project on Vidhan Sabha Road is another landmark project, developed at the cost of several crores. “We are investigating the whole span of investment done by the group in creating such massive infrastructure in Raipur and Bilaspur respectively,” the sources said, adding that the operations are likely to continue for next 48 hours.


For the reasons, the factory and office premises of Swastik Power and Mineral Resources Private Limited, another key investment of the Rama Group, was also being searched by the tax enforcers. Directors of Swastik Power & Mineral Resources Private Limited are Pawan Kumar Agrawal, Rajeev Agrawal, Satish Kumar Agrawal, Anil Sehrawat, Surinder Ahlawat, Gourav Agrawal, Vivek Agrawal, Mrinal Sharma and Rishi Pal Saharan. This industrial enterprise of the group, situated at village –Kanberi, Kanki Canal Road in Katghora tehsil of Korba district, is involved in mining of non-ferrous metal ores.


Moreover, some business partners and associates of the Rama Group were to be absconding soon after the news of Income Tax swoop spread like a wild fire. It is reported that they are hiding (underground) somewhere to escape the full might of tax enforcers, who are now on their trail by grilling the other available Directors of the group. Tax sleuths seized large quantity of jewellery from different premises of Rama Group promoters and directors family members. The department would rope in services to evaluate the quantity and market value of seized ornaments. The tax watchdogs also found incriminating documents related with investments done to the tune of several crores in ‘Benaami’ property.


Alone in Raipur, 12 teams were carrying out searches at around 11 places, including residential and office premises of the group directors and their family members. Around 15 teams were in Bilaspur whereas 5 teams each were in Raigarh and Korba. In all 42 teams were taking part in the wide spread search operations. However, unconfirmed reports stated that one of the group directors had prior information about the searches. Thus, it is said that the group managed to vanish several incriminating documents, which if had landed in the hands of tax watchdogs, could have led to sensational revelations about the evasion.


Tensed moments were witnessed inside the premises of Swastik Power and Mineral Resources Private Limited, when private security guards of the 25-MW capacity plant prevented the tax sleuths from entering the campus. As a result, heated exchange took place between the taxmen and plant security guards following which the armed police escort intervened into the matter and overpowered the private security personnel. Subsequently, the plant security guards were kept detained inside the premises soon the taxmen commenced search operations. However, there was no confirmation whether I-T officials would lodge any police complaint against the private security guards who prevented the taxmen from discharging official duties.