IT sleuths guise as football organisers to avoid detection

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Mangaluru: Over 250 Income Tax (IT) officials swopped across Dakshina Kannada, Tumkur, Davanagere, Bengaluru, to raid the homes of medical college owners. However, avoiding the detection of the raiding officials across the inter-state borders and districts remained a key challenge.

Moreover, as the raiding team had staff from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka – the multi-lingual assortment of people travelling in cars would have easily raised some sort of suspicion, an official accompanying the raid team in Mangaluru said.

Subsequently, senior officials decided to use ‘Interstate Football Championship’ – as a cover before coming down on the four unsuspecting targets in Mangaluru.

“Infact, most of the 60 cars that we hired also had sticker of ‘Interstate Football Championship’. To a great extent, it gave us the ease of movement between the borders,” the official added.

Subsequently, the Income Tax (IT) officials swooped across multiple locations. Sources also informed the IT raids were not limited to the medical colleges in city, but also extended to the medical colleges located in Tumkur and Davanagere, which belongs to both Congress and BJP leaders. 

In Mangaluru, AJ Shetty Medical College, Yenepoya Medical College, Kanachur Institute of Medical Sciences and Srinivas Group were raided. In Bengaluru, BGS Medical College, Aakash Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre, Sapthagiri Medical College, East Point Academy were raided. In Tumakuru, raid was conducted in Sridevi Institute of Medical Sciences

According to the sources, during the raid at the house of Srinivas Rao – the owner of Srinivas Medical College, Raghavendra Rao – father of Srinivas Rao fell ill. “However, after a brief distraction, the raid proceeded as planned,” an official added. So far, IT officials in Dakshina Kannada have remained tight-lipped on information if the medical college owners had properties beyond their known sources of income.

However, the IT officials told Economic Times that the colleges had plotted with some meritorious students in blocking of seats meant for top rank holders. These seats were then taken over by the management and sold to students figuring low on the merit list for a cost between Rs 80 lakh to 1.5 crore. It is alleged that the College Admission personnel and agents collected donations in large volumes of cash.

According to an Economic Times report, the raid yielded Rs 20 crore in cash, 60 kg of diamond and 50 carat diamond. The raid that began on Wednesday morning is said to continue for three more days.

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