The Income Tax (IT) Department raided 4 sand mining firms in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh today morning. The firms have been raided on the grounds of exporting beach minerals illegally and routing money abroad, along with tax evasion.
More than 130 IT officials raided almost 100 locations, including areas of Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Karaikal in Tamil Nadu. In Andhra Pradesh, the raids took place in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam. The office of the channel News 7 Tamil owned by S. Vaikundarajan’s company, V.V. Mineral or V.V.M., was also raided.
Established in the year 1989, V.V. Mineral is a huge private mining firm owning 40 km of a beach area and 7000 acres of mineral rich land. The company has an annual manufacturing output of 7,00,000 metric tonnes of minerals such as Garnet Abrasive, Ilmenite, etc., which is exported globally.
Apart from S. Vaikundarajan, the other businessmen accused in the raids are Sukumar, Chandresan and Manikandan. As per the IT officials, the firms have been conducting the export of beach minerals using illegal means. In addition, the officials said the companies had a huge tax evasion and are routing money abroad through illegal transactions. The companies hold a huge amount of illegal profit, which they invested in other business such as hotels, sugar mills, engineering colleges, etc.
The raids will continue until today evening and the IT officials are searching for official documents to substantiate the charges against the firms.