Income Tax raids Sula Vineyards; finds INR 1.5 crore cash deposits

The director denies any ties with Panama Papers and gets away with the Enforcement Directorate

Income Tax raids Sula Vineyards; finds INR 1.5 crore cash deposits

The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department raided 20 premises of Sula Vineyards in Nashik and Mumbai over the weekend on the basis of the information linked to Panama Papers. When approached by the press, Rajeev Samant, the director of Sula vines, denied any connections with the Panama Papers.

Documents and electronic evidence from Samant’s company are being compared with the details quoted from the Panama Papers, files leaked by the databases of world’s largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, by the Income Tax so that a verification can be made for the connection between the two sources.

The demonetised currency of INR 1.5 crore deposited by the company has been found by the Income Tax. The government agencies are in the process of verifying these transactions. The raid started at 20 different premises from Mumbai and Nashik on Friday, including an office for Samant’s maritime business and residential premises. The operation ended on Saturday.

Samant’s companies are suspected misuse of the Tonnage Tax Scheme meant for maritime businesses according to the Income Tax. Inquiries are being made for the same. 

The Enforcement Directorate was the first to know about the cash deposits of Sula Vineyards while it was investigating against senior NCP leader and former minister Chhagan Bhujbal. The agency has found no dots that could connect the case with the cash transaction. Samant’s explanation of paying the grape farmers in cash has been accepted by the Enforcement Directorate.

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