Raids in Lottery King’s premises led to Rs 595 cr unaccounted income: official

Team Udayavani, May 5, 2019, 10:52 AM IST

Chennai: Nationwide searches in 70 premises related to Coimbatore based Martin Santiago, also known as “Lottery King,” has concluded and the assessee has admitted to an unaccounted income of Rs 595 crore, a senior tax official said here Saturday.

During the searches, incriminating evidence was found and “the assessee has admitted unaccounted income of Rs 595 crore received from stockists towards manipulation of Prize Winning Tickets,” the Income Tax investigation official told PTI.

The assesse also admitted to offer further unaccounted income to tax after reconciliation of the over Rs 600 crore of unaccounted receipts (on money payments received in real estate and interest receipts on loans given) and payments made for various investments, the official said.

During the searches, Rs 8.25 crore of unaccounted cash was found, of which Rs 5.8 crore cash was seized and the balance amount was kept under prohibitory orders.

Unaccounted gold and diamond jewellery of an approximate value of Rs 24.57 crore was also found in the searches, which was also placed under prohibitory orders, he said.

Documents or articles that warrant further evaluation are usually placed in the very premises where searches are held under prohibitory orders.

At a later date, such materials are examined and based on the outcome these are either returned to the assessee or seized.

Prohibitory orders have also been placed in several premises, where incriminating evidence comprising a large volume of paper and electronic documents still remain to be examined, he added.

The Coimbatore based business group handling lotteries run by some state governments (under agreements with such states to function as a marketing agent) has been under the department’s radar for quite some time due to continuous and huge fall in its advance tax payments in the last two years.

The searches commenced on April 30 across 70 premises in Coimbatore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Siliguri, Gangtok, Ranchi, and Ludhiana.

The group is particularly active in lotteries of West Bengal and North Eastern states where it has monopoly control, according to the tax department.

The group also has dealings in real estate and finance business in a big way.

Meanwhile, a 45-year-old man working in one of the firms run by Martin (who was allegedly questioned by tax sleuths) was found dead in Coimbatore district on Friday, police said.

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