In one of the biggest recoveries till date, the Income Tax Department yesterday found Rs 160-crore cash and about 100-kg bullion after raids at several premises of a road construction firm in Tamil Nadu, officials said.
The searches were launched on the premises of Ms SPK and Company, a partnership firm engaged in road and highway construction, on contract from the government.
"About Rs 160 crore cash, which is suspected to be unaccounted for, and bullion and gold jewellery weighing about 100 kg has been recovered so far. The raids are still on and these figures may further go up," a senior official said.
Tax officials termed the recoveries as probably the highest so far in a raid anywhere in the country.
The previous highest cash recovery was of over Rs 110 crore when the department raided a mining baron in Chennai post-demonetisation in 2016.
The Chennai investigation wing of the department is conducting the operation. The raids were conducted after the department found "evidence of suspected tax evasion by the firm and its associates", who also have political links, he said.
A total of 22 premises -- 17 in Chennai, four in Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar district) and one in Katpadi (Vellore) -- are being raided, the officials said.
The cash was kept in big travel bags and in parked cars, and dozens of gold biscuits have been recovered till now, they said. The searches are expected to continue for another day, they said.