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The CBDT Saturday said the Income Tax Department has detected tax evasion worth crores of rupees in raids on a leading diamond manufacturer and exporter of Gujarat.

The searches were launched on September 22 at 23 premises of the group, which is also in tiles manufacturing business, at Surat, Navsari, Morbi and Wankaner (Morbi) in Gujarat and Mumbai in Maharashtra.

The raids are still underway, it said.

"The primary analysis of data reveals that the assessee has made unaccounted purchase and sale of small polished diamonds of about 518 crore over the period."

"The data reveals that the assessee has sold more than 95 crore of diamond scrap in cash generated from its manufacturing activities, which remains unaccounted for and represents its income," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) claimed in a statement.

The assessee, over these years, has accounted for the sale of about 2,742 crore of small diamonds in its books, against which, substantial part of purchases were made in cash, but the purchase bills were taken from accommodation entry providers, it alleged.

The statement said "unaccounted" cash and jewellery worth 1.95 crore has been seized during the raids and "unaccounted" diamond stock of 8900 carat worth 10.98 crore has been detected. 

"A large number of lockers belonging to the group have been identified, which have been placed under restraint and will be operated in due course," it said.

The policy-making body for the tax department said that the group was making its "major purchases" of rough diamonds through imports and making export sales of finished bigger diamonds through its company registered in Hongkong, which is effectively controlled and managed from India only. 

"The data reveals that the assessee has made purchases of 189 crore and sale of 1,040 crore in the last two years through this entity."

​"...financial transactions of real estate deals were found which led to the detection of unaccounted income of 80 crore," it claimed.

The sale transactions of shares pertaining to the business of tiles were examined which led to the detection of 81 crore of unaccounted income, the CBDT said.

It said the raid teams have seized paper as well as digital data, kept at secret locations under the custody of its trusted employees, that includes proof of unaccounted purchases and sales, accommodation entries (obtaining illegal business entries in accounts) for purchases against which cash is received, the movement of such cash and stock through angadia firms, keeping the unaccounted cash with angadias, investment of such unaccounted income for purchase of property and stock, etc for the last five years. 

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