Tax sleuths lay hands on vital clues

NEW DELHI, JULY 20. The raids by the Income Tax Department on the premises of leading cricketers and bookies are likely to open up a can of worms as the tax sleuths have been able to lay their hands on loads of information which point to a strong nexus between the players and the bookies and might prove damaging in many cases.

Insiders in the Department tonight said the officials had come across documents which suggested that a former leading cricket player had made huge investments in real estate but had not reflected the same in the tax returns. In fact, one of the former players is learnt to have purchased 100 acres of land near Delhi whose market value is reported to be somewhere in the region of Rs. 80 crores.

In addition to this, it is learnt that the tax sleuths have also been able to uncover ``concealed income'' of more than Rs. 5 crores from the Delhi-based bookie, Mr. Mukesh Gupta, also known as M.K. Gupta's business and residential premises at South Extension, Chandni Chowk and Defence Colony premises were also searched and a list of clients, his connections in the betting world, telephone numbers of various people and information relating to huge payments was also unearthed. The tax officials are intrigued by the rags to riches story of Mr. Gupta. It is learnt that Mr. Gupta had been filing returns under-stating income in comparison to his actual earnings.

It is learnt that during the raid on the premises of Ajay Jadeja, the tax sleuths were able to lay their hands on massive investments made by him in real estate, buying of a flat in Uday Park, South Delhi, at a high price and receipt of expensive gifts from various sources. In addition to this, a number of bank accounts and lockers in his name have been sealed by the Department. Later, the tax sleuths were joined by the officials of the CBI who also went through the papers and documents seized during the searches.

However, it is in the case of Kapil Dev that the tax sleuths have been able to get ``reasonably good'' information about this big investments in real estate, exports business, buying of property and other business investments, many of which were not reflected in the tax returns filed by him and his wife. It is also learnt that searches were also conducted at the hotel, office and residential premises of Kapil Dev in Chandigarh.

Many of the other bookies also confessed during questioning that they were actively involved in betting and were also learnt to have provided the Department officials with a list of their clients, their investment charts, telephone numbers and information about their financial transactions including payments.

The information collected so far has indicated that the cricketers are likely to face rough weather in the coming days. Not only this, a number of leads and bookie connections along with other associates are expected to come up after the seized documents and papers are scrutinised.