Over 70 premises across country come under scanner
The Income Tax Department conducted searches at business establishments belonging to Martin Santiago, who is also known in the State as ‘Lottery King’. The taxmen suspect he possesses unaccounted cash. Over 70 premises belonging to him across India came under the scanner, sources said.
A senior I-T official from the investigations wing said, “The Coimbatore Unit of Investigation Directorate, Chennai, has commenced searches under Section 132 of the I-T Act. The raids commenced at 12.50 p.m. on Tuesday,” he added.
Later in the evening, I-T officials said the raids were still continuing and some electronic data evidence had been found. “But we are yet to scrutinise them,” an official said.
Over 22 locations in Coimbatore and 10 locations in Chennai were searched. Searches also happened at Kolkata (18 places), Mumbai (5 places), Delhi (3 places), and 2 premises each at Hyderabad, Guwahati, Siliguri, Gangtok, Ranchi, and Ludhiana.
Martin’s main business is lottery. He handles lotteries that are run by State governments and has an agreement with them to function as the marketing agent.
His businesses are active in West Bengal and northeastern States and he has a monopoly control in that region. He is also active in the real estate business, sources said.