Ahmedabad: An Ahmedabad-based businessman, who had declared black money worth over 13,000-crore in September, has gone missing. Income Tax authorities are on the lookout for Mahesh Shah, who had declared the huge sum under the Income Declaration Scheme - which provides immunity to those who declare and pay the required tax on their hidden income.
- Mr Shah went missing before the 25% deposition deadline of November 30.
- The IT department also searched his chartered accountant's residence.
- The family said he is not absconding but they don't know where he is.
The 45-year-old reportedly went missing a few days before the November 30 deadline for depositing 25 per cent of the disclosed amount.
Income Tax officials have searched Mr Shah's home and office, along with the residence of his chartered accountant Tehmul Sethna who had helped him with the disclosures.
Mr Sethna claims that he neither knows about the businessman's whereabouts nor his business investments.
"He studied up to 12th grade and is very intelligent," Mr Sethna said, adding, "I can tell you that he is very well connected and has been into big dealings. I had no reason to doubt his credentials."
Mr Shah's family maintains that he is not absconding but has just not been in contact for the last 15 days.
"He is not absconding. But we don't know where he is. He will reply to your questions when he comes," his son Monitesh told reporters.
The Income Tax department said that they had assured Mahesh Shah of security when he made the disclosures but they haven't been able to trace the businessman since the last one week.
Though much is not known about Mahesh Shah's income, sources in the Income Tax department claim he may have had real estate investments in Gujarat, Maharashtra and South India.
Income Tax department had also searched Mr Shah's residence before the November 30 deadline, indicating that officials had sensed that he wouldn't turn up. They are also trying to ascertain whether he was part of a bigger network of businessmen who had hidden black money.