The Income Tax department on 5 January carried out search and seizure operations on the premises of three real estate firms operating in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Unaccounted cash of Rs. 1.64 crore was seized and unaccounted cash transactions to the tune of Rs. 800 crore were detected during the operations.

More than two dozen premises were searched in Kurnool, Ananthapur, Kadapa, Nandyal, and Bellary.

During the search operations, several incriminating documents, such as handwritten books and agreements, were seized. Digital data from a specialized software application as well as from other electronic gadgets were also seized.

It was found that one of the assessee groups was using software that has been systematically modified to eliminate unaccounted cash elements of the consideration received and to record in the regular books of account the sale consideration that matches the registered sale price.

It was also revealed that the three firms were accepting cash over and above the registered value of the properties. Such unaccounted cash was being used for payments of on-money towards the purchase of lands and incurring other expenditure.

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