(G.N.S) Dt. 03
In what appears to be a ‘fine-tooth comb’ operation, the income tax department claimed it had seized cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 crore from exporters of human hair in North Karnataka as well as found incriminating evidence of tax evasion amounting to more than Rs 65 crore. They say the racket has been going on for years and probe is on.
Investigators found that even hair offered by devotees in temples resulted in tax evasion,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday. “Income tax searches in the last fortnight of December resulted in finding of Rs 65 crore of previously undisclosed income as well as seizure of cash and jewellery from human hair exporters.” The searches also revealed that apart from temples, hair was purchased from beauty parlours. The operation resulted in the seizure of Rs 2.5 crore of cash, Rs 2.5 crore worth jewellery, apart from 140 kg of silver articles from the residences of the exporters.
“Some inmates of women’s hostels were also in the business of cutting off their locks and selling them to earn extra cash,” the department said. “The hair was being exported to Africa and European countries. Africa has a fascination for the dry hair market, which was estimated to be worth $6 billion a year in 2015.” The department claimed it had found that second quality sales and wastage sales were not accounted for or declared in I-T returns. They also claimed to have found bogus billing of purchases done with the aim of siphoning of money.
(G.N.S) Dt. 03