Man declares 13000 Cr and goes missing
Income Tax authorities are on the lookout of Mahesh Shah, an Ahmedabad-based businessman who created a buzz in October for declaring black money worth Rs.13,860 crore under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) – wherein immunity is provided to those who declare and pay the required tax on their hidden income.
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 Shahs residential and official premises 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 businessmans 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 Shahs family maintains that the he is not absconding but is just not in contact for the last 15 days.
"He is not absconding. But we dont know where he is. He will reply to your questions when he comes," his son Monitesh told reporters.
The IT department said that it had assured Mahesh Shah of security when he made the disclosures but they havent been able to trace the businessman since last one week.
Though much is not known about Mahesh Shahs income, sources in the IT department claim that he may have had real estate investments in Gujarat, Maharashtra and South India.
Income Tax department had also searched Mr Shahs residence before the November 30 deadline, indicating that officials had sensed that he wouldnt turn up. They are also trying to ascertain whether he was part of a bigger network of businessmen who had hidden black money.