Income tax sleuths who conducted searches at properties belonging to the Velammal Educational Trust in Tamil Nadu have seized Rs.2 crore of unaccounted cash and have found that the group has an undisclosed income of Rs. 532 crore. The money allegedly came from cash collected from students as fees and it was not registered in the total disclosed income of the institute.
The searches were conducted at office of the Trust, residences of the trustees and key employees of the group. The charitable trusts, according to the Income Tax department, are running a medical college, hospital, engineering colleges and schools across Tamil Nadu. Search and survey operations were carried out at 64 places in Madurai and Chennai.
"During the search, evidence was unearthed of fee collected under various nomenclatures from students of Engineering colleges ; schools run by the group which were received in cash and not accounted for; and cash receipts not accounted for in hospitals account. Loans and interest were repaid in cash which were earlier taken in cash for the purpose of unaccounted investments. These receipts were utilised for the purchase of properties by paying on-money," reads a statement from the I-T department on the searches conducted.
The search resulted in the seizure of around Rs.2 crore of unaccounted cash. Of the unaccounted income detected so far, the group has admitted an amount of Rs.532 crore as their undisclosed income. The searches have temporarily concluded and further investigations are under progress.
TNM had earlier reported searches are being conducted in around 50 locations in Madurai and Chennai belonging to Velammal Educational Trust. The searches began on Tuesday morning based on information about suspected tax evasion.
Founded in 1986 by MV Muthuramalingam with one school in Chennai, Velammal Educational Trust grew into a group of institutes with around 56 educational institutions across Tamil Nadu.
Similar searches were conducted in November 2019, when the Income Tax department had conducted searches in over 25 locations in and around Chennai belonging to the Jeppiaar Educational Trust on suspicion of tax evasion.
In November 2019, the Income Tax department had conducted searches in over 25 locations in and around Chennai belonging to the Jeppiaar Educational Trust on suspicion of tax evasion. Jeppiaar Educational Trust owns and manages several colleges in and around Chennai.