National

Probe agencies join hands in quest for black money

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 15, 2017

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Share information, resources for search and seizure ops

Stepping up efforts to catch tax evaders and hoarders of black money, investigating agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau(IB), Enforcement Directorate(ED) and Income Tax Department, have scaled up their coordination on sharing resources and information.

Senior income-tax officials told BusinessLine that after demonetisation, the IB has been providing alerts and advisories on potential tax evaders. Based on these alerts, a strategy is being devised for search-and-seizure operations.

Some Commissioner rank officers in the I-T Department have also been ordered by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to be ready to participate in raids along with ED personnel. “Sharing of information among agencies is happening for many years but a joint action is unprecedented,” said a top official.

The officials said that in the jurisdiction of Mumbai, where the I-T Department collects the highest revenue, very senior officers are monitoring the situation 24x7, some almost living out of their offices. Even on weekends, the support staff has been asked to remain on standby.

The IB, with its vast network of offices and field agents, regularly monitors suspicious persons and transactions. In the recent past, the financial activities of certain NGOs with a murky record have been reported to the I-T Department by the Bureau. Banking transactions in border States are also on its scanner.

The coordinated efforts come in the backdrop of the Centre’s commitment to unearth black money and tax evaders post demonetisation. However, there has been little achievement so far, other than the nabbing of some small black money operators.

One investigating officer said instructions had been issued to monitor transactions and bank accounts that have showed suspicious activity since November 8. “A number of raids have been conducted over the last two months. A lot of data has been collected so it will take time to examine it,” said another official.

Published on January 15, 2017
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