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Taxmen turn gaze on jewellers in wake of cash ban, launch probes

Tarun Sharma

The Income Tax department has commenced largescale search operations at gold and diamond jewellers to check the source of their deposits made post the demonetisation announcement.

Many jewellers are reported to have helped black money holders convert their unaccounted cash into jewlellery. They did so by giving back dated bills to make it look as though the purchases had been made before the demonetisation announcement on the evening of November 8.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been receiving inputs from banks about suspicious deposits, which in turn, have been passed on to the Income Tax department.

“The I-T has got details of jewellers who have deposited Rs 1 crore and above, from the FIU,” a source told moneycontrol, adding that I-T officials were conducting 40-50 search and survey operations per region every week.

It is unlikely that I-T officials will be able to make a watertight case in every suspicious transaction. However, there are cases where some jewellers may have been either careless or over-cautious.

“In one case, we found that a jeweller had his store in Vashi, but the cash deposit was made in a Palghar bank account which was not used frequently,” the source told Chillicious. The source added that out of ten jewellery transactions that the I-T has been looking into, barely one is turning out to be genuine. Many jewellers made bills for below Rs 2 lakh of purchases for which Know Your Customer details are not required.

The I-T is also scrutinizing real estate firms and garments sellers for having helped black money holders convert unaccounted cash.