Ahmedabad: Mahesh Shah, the Ahmedabad-based businessman who had gone missing last month after declaring black money worth over Rs 13,000 crore in September, surfaced today before being swiftly taken away by the Income Tax and police officials for questioning.
- Mahesh Shah declared black money over Rs. 13,000 crore in September
- Shah, missing for days, appears on local news channel
- Claims money was not his, is taken away for questioning
Mr Shah appeared on a local news channel today and in an interview claimed that the money was not his and had been given to him by politicians.
"It is not my money. The money belongs various people including politicians, babus and builders,'' he told ETV Gujarati channel.
But in a dramatic turn of events, Mr Shah was taken away by the police and tax officials from the TV studios to an undisclosed location for questioning.
Income Tax authorities were on the lookout for Mr 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.
The 67-year-old had reportedly gone 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.
"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.
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 for 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.