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CHENNAI: At least 100 bank accounts of shell companies allegedly managed by Jaya TV MD Vivek Jayaraman, a nephew of convicted AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, have been frozen, said I-T sources on Saturday.
The action comes three days after I-T searches commenced at 188 properties owned by Sasikala, her extended family members and associates in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The searches, till Friday, had yielded Rs 6 crore in cash, 8.5 kg gold and documents relating to investments worth Rs 1,200 crore of unaccounted money.
Many valuables were recovered+
from unused hostel rooms of a women’s college owned by Sasikala’s brother V Dhivaharan at Mannargudi, said sources.
“We froze 100 bank accounts after we found that they belong to 20-odd shell companies. Crores of rupees were deposited in them soon after demonetisation was announced last year. The accounts were being operated by Vivek Jayaraman,” a senior I-T official told TOI. “We recovered many documents relating to these shell companies from Vivek’s house. Some documents were seized from the houses of his sister Krishna Priya and an auditor. We are also examining documents of some properties held by benamis,” said the official.
A senior I-T official said, “Vivek and his associates used the money from these bank accounts to buy movable and immovable properties worth several crores.”
Searches were still continuing in some places, including Kodanad estate owned by Sasikala, because some lockers there were yet to be opened, the source said. “Our officials are questioning some people to ferret out more details about the seized documents,” said the official.
The sleuths completed search operation in most places+
on Saturday. “But searches are continuing in Jaya TV office and houses of Vivek and Krishna Priya,” the official said. Searches are going on at places belonging to various associates of Sasikala and her family in Cuddalore, Namakkal districts.
Searches at Jaaz Cinemas have led the I-T officials to another multiplex in the city. Officials have sought clarification on purchase of 11 screens by Jaaz Cinemas from the multiplex in 2015. The owners of the multiplex are being questioned.
With regard to some documents seized from Dhivaharan’s premises at Mannargudi, officials are questioning his daughter Rajamathangi, a resident of Chennai.
“She had imported many foreign cars. We are probing the source of funds for those purchases. She is also being asked to explain the source and other details about the purchase of property,” another official said. In all, 355 people have so far come under the I-T scanner in this round of searches.