The Income Tax Department has conducted search and seizure operations on a business group engaged in a variety of businesses ranging from the production and sale of edible rice bran oil, mustard oil, de-oiled rice bran, different types of chemicals, and real estate, operating largely in the North Bengal region of West Bengal.

A total of 23 premises spread over Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Malda, Kolkata, Siliguri in West Bengal, Guwahati in Assam, and surrounding areas were covered, an official statement from the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

The business group is controlled by a person with an active political background. A search was also conducted on his close business associate. According to sources, the searches were conducted in the premises linked to the erstwhile West Bengal BJP MLA Krishna Kalyani who later switched to the TMC.

“The search action revealed that the group was suppressing its yield and making unaccounted cash sales of edible oils and de-oiled rice bran. Several instances of cash transactions not recorded in regular books of account were detected during the search operation. Handwritten notes, documents, and digital evidence containing extracts of cash transactions have been seized. Parallel cash books and bogus claims of expenses have also been found. “A preliminary investigation has revealed unaccounted income of more than ₹40 crore,” it said.

Further, in a search operation conducted on the close business associate of the main business group, who is a leading exporter of agro products in Malda district of North Bengal, incriminating documents against cash payments in land acquisition to the tune of around ₹17 crore have been found. Details pertaining to unaccounted cash receipts of about ₹100 crore were also found.

The search action has resulted in the seizure of unaccounted cash worth ₹1.73 crore. In addition, unaccounted jewellery worth ₹1 crore has been seized. Further investigations are in progress, it added.