New Delhi: In a major drive by the income tax department in Delhi-NCR, Bhopal, Indore and Goa, total cash worth Rs 281 crore have been recovered. A team of 300 officers raided places in these cities, including the residence of a close aide of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.

Interestingly, the income tax department in its press statement has claimed it has recovered Rs 20 crore from the capital’s most expensive location, Lutyens’ Delhi, moved through hawala to the headquarters of a political party.

“Searches in Madhya Pradesh have detected a widespread and well-organised racket of collection of unaccounted cash of about Rs. 281 crore through various persons in different walks of life including business, politics and public service.

 A part of the cash was transferred also to the headquarters of a major political party in Delhi, including about Rs 20 crore, which was moved through hawala recently to the headquarters of a political party from the residence of a senior functionary at Tughlak Road, New Delhi,” the income tax department said.

“The searches in Delhi in the group of a close relative of the senior functionary have further led to the seizure of incriminating evidence, including a cash book that recorded unaccounted transactions of Rs 230 crore, siphoning off of money through bogus billing of more than Rs 242 crore and evidence of more than 80 companies in tax havens. Several unaccounted/benami properties at posh locations in Delhi have been detected too,” the department said.

The department claimed further that the operation was based on credible information of large scale collection, possession and movement of unaccounted assets. The Delhi Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation) initiated search and seizure action on a group in NCR, Bhopal, Indore and Goa. More than 300 I-T officials participated in the operation at about 52 locations in four states.

“Meticulous records of collection and disbursement of cash in the form of handwritten diaries, computer files and excel sheets found and seized corroborate the above findings,” the department said.

Unaccounted cash of Rs 14.6 crore has been found so far. Besides, 252 bottles of liquor, some arms and tiger hide,” the department claimed.