HMA Group, a prominent meat exporter, disclosed ₹100 crore of undeclared income after an income-tax raid that lasted several days. The firm is owned by the former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA from Agra, Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutto.
In searches that went on for more than 88 hours, officers from the income tax department went to 35 locations in 12 cities in five states in India. More than 180 I-T officers, paramilitary personnel, and other security personnel were involved in the searches.
While 18 locations were raided in Agra alone, I-T department officers also searched locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Chandigarh, Raipur, Unnao, Kanpur and Meerut.
Incidentally, this is the second biggest recovery made by the department in Agra. A search at Agra-based BNR Group four years ago yielded ₹101 crores in unreported income.
HMA Group is India’s third-largest meat exporter, with a turnover of over ₹2000 crores and an export network spanning 40 countries.
The department is also investigating several of the HMA Group’s suppliers, as most of the transactions with the suppliers are done in cash, while several dozen vendors have been proven to be fake.
Fourteen such vendors have been traced to residents of Agra, who were either working with the company as employees or were completely unattached, with no information that their name was being used by the company in forgery.
The department has confiscated documents, laptops, and mobile phones for further investigation, and if the undeclared income proves to be more than what has been surrendered, the penalty will be raised accordingly.