- Saravana Bhavan, Grand Sweets, Hot Breads, Anjappar offices raided
- Raids at 32 spots including homes of directors of the restaurant groups
- Raids over complaints of alleged tax evasion, officials said
Five popular restaurant chains in Chennai, including the Saravana Bhavan group, are being raided by Income Tax officials.
Raids are being conducted at the offices of Saravana Bhavan, Hot Breads, the Anjappar group and two groups of Grand Sweets in Chennai. Searches are underway at 32 locations in the city, including the homes and offices of the directors of the restaurant groups.
Income Tax department officials said the searches are being done following complaints of alleged tax evasion. "We believe these groups suppress large-scale income from their domestic operations. They have not disclosed income generated in their overseas branches over the last several years. We would be able to assess the quantum of tax evasion only after the raids," a senior officer said.
Saravana Bhavan, the most well-known among the five restaurant groups, has its outlets in 20 countries including the US, the UK, France and Australia. It was founded by P Rajagopal. It has 66 branches abroad including the US, UK and Australia besides 25 restaurants in India including in Delhi.
The Anjappar group has 70 outlets, including a few outside India. Bakery chain Hot Breads has branches in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry. Known for their sweets and snacks, Grand Sweets has been in the business for the last 25 years.
The restaurant chains are yet to respond to the tax raids.
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