New Delhi, Lucknow:
The tax raid against an Uttar Pradesh businessman, which shocked the country with visuals of heaps of currency notes and multiple machines deployed to count them, has finally ended a week after it began.
A total of Rs 196 crore in cash, 23 kg of gold worth about Rs 11 crore and 600 kg of sandalwood oil worth nearly Rs 6 crore have been recovered in the weeklong raids that spanned the cities of Kanpur and Kannauj.
When the media reached the residence of businessman Piyush Jain in Kannauj, his son said, “I believe in the law. Whatever is right or wrong will come out.” He refused to speak further.
Zakir Hussain, Additional Director of Directorate General of GST Intelligence, told the media in Kannauj, “We have concluded the raid here and handed over the gold to DRI [Directorate of Revenue Intelligence]. Investigation is on.”
Earlier, Jain was arrested on charges of evading Goods and Services Tax from Kanpur. The recovery from his premises is the biggest in the history of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, chairman Vivek Johri has said.
Sources said preliminary investigation has revealed that Jain exported raw materials for perfumes to Dubai in exchange for gold bars. The gold bars seized from his premises have foreign markings and the DRI is now probing how he evaded customs duty while importing them, the sources said. The probe has also revealed that Jain allegedly exported the perfumery compounds to Singapore, the sources added.
The raids, which started in Kanpur on December 22 and ended in Kannauj today, made headlines with shocking visuals of heaps and sacks full of currency notes. As tax officials and currency-counting machines worked overtime, investigators put together the pieces of how an unassuming businessman allegedly amassed this mountain of cash and gold.
According to the investigators, Jain and his brother Ambrish Jain learnt to manufacture perfumes from their father, a chemist, and their business thrived after they started selling perfume components to pan masala manufacturers. The brothers came under the probe agencies’ radar because they took all payments in cash.
According to investigators, the GST intelligence unit, following inputs of tax evasion, laid a trap for a pan masala manufacturer and the trail led them to Jain. Neighbours were shocked to know that Jain, who rode a scooter and lived simply, had amassed this huge wealth.
Jain and the massive recovery from his premises also entered the Uttar Pradesh election speeches, with the incumbent BJP and the prime challenger Samajwadi Party accusing each other of backing the businessman.
While the BJP alleged that Jain is the businessman who recently launched the “Samajwadi perfume”, Akhilesh Yadav denied this, claiming a mix-up between Piyush Jain and his party’s Pushpraj Jain. Mr Yadav alleged that the Kanpur businessman was in touch with BJP leaders.