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Friday,30-July-2021

Crime

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa won’t appear before NIA on Sunday

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Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa on Saturday said he will not be able to appear before the counter-terror task force, National Investigation Agency (NIA), on Sunday owing to his pre-occupations relating to the wedding of his granddaughter and he would remain busy in family affairs till February 7.

He said he got the notice on WhatsApp at a short notice and there was no formal notice from the agency.

The President of Lok Bhalai Insaf Welfare Society, one of the unions participating in talks with the Government of India over the new farm laws, on Friday night came to know from a reporter that the NIA issued him a notice in connection with a case registered against banned outfit the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

Talking to the media in this Punjab city, Sirsa accused the central government for trying to derail the farmers’ protest by adopting various means.

“First, they (the government) tried to put pressure on us (farmers) through people and politicians and then through the Supreme Court. Now it is using the NIA,” he said candidly.

Without mincing words, he said, “The government is trying to ‘torpedo’ our agitation.”

Accompanying three others who too got the NIA notice regarding the case against the SFJ activists, the farmer leader, who didn’t participate in the last and the ninth round of talks between the farmers and the government, asked the NIA to give him time to appear before it after February 7.

“Before it, it is difficult for me to appear (owing to the marriage of my granddaughter),” he said.

Sirsa said many people associated with the agitation have got the NIA summons. “The government tries to terrorise those working for farmers. We are not afraid and going to bend with such tactics. The government is bent on defaming the protest.”

In a surprise move, the NIA has sent notices to over a dozen of people, including a journalist, farmer leaders associated with the agitation and others, in connection with its probe into the SFJ case.

The NIA last month filed a charge sheet against 10 Khalistani terrorists, including US-based designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, in the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) case in the special NIA court in Mohali in Punjab.

Business

Income Tax conducts searches on Kanpur-based ‘pan masala’ group

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The Income Tax Department has carried out a search action on over 30 premises, in three states, of a large pan masala manufacturing and real estate group based in Kanpur and Delhi, an official statement said on Friday.

A total of 31 premises, spread across Kanpur, Noida, Ghaziabad, Delhi, and Kolkata, were searched on Thursday, a Finance Ministry statement said, adding that the group has been earning huge amounts through unaccounted sale of pan masala and unaccounted real estate business, and this unaccounted income was laundered back into the concerns through a vast link of shell companies.

Digital and paper evidence found during search revealed a nation-wide network of such paper companies created by the group, it said.

The Directors of these companies are persons of no financial means, the investigations revealed.

While some of these persons are not even filing income tax returns, some others who do so, show extremely meagre amounts. Field investigations further revealed that these paper companies did not exist at the addresses mentioned and never conducted any business.

However, surprisingly these companies advanced so called loans and advances to the real estate group amounting to Rs 226 crore in just three years, the IT Department said.

A network of 115 such shell companies has been found. Forensic analysis of the digital data is in progress. The ‘Directors’ also admitted that they were only ‘dummy Directors’ and signed on the dotted lines as and when required in return for commission for their “services”.

During the search, the Income Tax teams also discovered secret hideouts where troves of documents containing details of unaccounted money and their process of laundering have been unearthed. Analysis of such documents and evidence is also underway.

The complete modus operandi has been uncovered by the team including the role of “cash handlers” and their details.

The modus operandi is similar with respect to the business of pan masala. They too have laundered back their unaccounted income through an extensive network of such shell companies.

Unaccounted loans and premia received from such paper companies exceeding Rs 110 crore in three years, have been detected.

The group ploughed back their unaccounted money through such shell companies by showing bogus advances against property sale, bogus loans and share premia.

Forensic analysis of evidence is in progress.

So far 34 bogus bank accounts of shell companies have been found. Deductions claimed under Income Tax Act, 1961 with respect to treatment of biodegradable waste are under detailed scrutiny. It has also been discovered that through some of these paper companies based in Kolkata, bogus sale and purchase of manure has been shown, amounting to Rs 80 crore so that cash can be deposited into bank accounts.

During the search, cash of more than Rs 52 lakh was found along with more than 7 kg gold, while preliminary figures indicate unaccounted transactions exceeding Rs 400 crore.

Further investigations are in progress.

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Crime

Maharashtra Cyber request citizen to be vigilant and aware Flood Relief Fund Scam

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Maharashtra cyber has been continuously and effectively working to stop the rise and growth of the online crimes. The sudden flood has caused heavy loss of the life and property in some districts of Maharashtra state. By taking advantage of such situation, fraudsters have opened fake NGO’s and charity Trust asking people to donate money to help raising funds. Fraudsters ask people to donate but most of these bank accounts will be personal account of fraudster to which the donation is made.

The modus operandi in such scams is as explained below:
• Fraudsters create fake online NGO’s and charity Trusts profiles on social media and publish fake advertisement on internet to help flood victims
• Then using such profiles fraudster advertise for donation convincing people to donate money for flood victims
• Fraudsters demand donation only through online transaction
Maharashtra Cyber requests all the citizen to be vigilant, take below mentioned care:
• Do not trust any unverified news or information you received on social media (Facebook, instagram, YouTube, etc.) and on internet
• Check the authenticity of charity trust/NGO before making transaction.
• Verify whether bank account or payment gateway belongs to NGO’s/Charity trust and do not transfer money to personal bank account.
• Kindly register such findings at www.cybercrime.gov.in

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Crime

Case filed against Gurugram pvt hospital for levying illegal parking charges

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FIR

Gurugram police have registered an FIR against Paras Hospital for levying illegal parking fees in an open area of the hospital premises.

The case was filed following a complaint lodged by a city-based RTI activist in September last year regarding illegal parking fees being charged from the hospital visitors.

The RTI activist said that he had filed the complaint at the CM Window on October 2020. Following recommendation from the CM Window, an FIR has been registered against the hospital.

“The hospital was also availing property tax exemption in the name of free parking on Basement 2. Following a complaint at the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), officials found that the basement of the hospital is being used for commercial activities,” the RTI activist said.

The MCG has also imposed a penalty of Rs 16,27,582 on the hospital for violating MCG’s property tax norms.

No one from the hospital management was available for comments.

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