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‘Marriage Party’ Raids In Jalna Yield Rs 400 Crore Booty

When members of a marriage party that had just arrived in Jalna (Maharashtra) started striding purposefully towards the premises of two famous steel manufacturers rather than to any nuptial venue, the onlookers were puzzled. Because rarely any weddings happen in monsoons. But the suspense did not last for long. It soon became evident that huge amounts of cash and gold were being unearthed. It was a series of simultaneous raids by the Income-tax officials, who had hired about a hundred private vehicles which displayed the announcement, “Rahul Weds Anjali” for the surprise visit. Nearly 250 of them swooped on the establishments on August 3 and continued their operation till August 8. The raids yielded cash of Rs 58 crore and over 30 kg of gold, besides precious stones. The cash was found in a farmhouse outside the town in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The officials needed 13 hours and eight note counting machines to calculate the booty. After counting, the notes were sealed in stout gunny bags which were stashed one atop another. The resultant wall was eight feet in height. The raids were based on intelligence received by the I-T’s Nasik office. However, it was kept a secret till the last moment. The businessmen concerned deals in steel, real estate and textile. Moreover, documents leading to benami property deals worth Rs 100 crore are also said to be recovered.