November 9, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Chennai: After getting ousted from party and cut off from its access to Tamil Nadu government, the Mannargudi clan headed by jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala came under the IT scanner with simultaneous raids on 187 premises belonging to Sasikala, her friends and relatives for suspected income tax evasion, money laundering and financial frauds.
The raids began at 6 a.m. in different states of Delhi, Puducherry, Bengaluru and different cities of Tamil Nadu for detection of possible IT evasion and fraudulent monetary transactions.
Shortly after income tax officials landed at his house in Adyar, TTV Dinakaran dismissed these as mere attempts to scare us. “We will not be scared about these raids or even facing jail. Even if I am jailed for 20 years, I will come out and hound out whoever is responsible for this,” Dinakaran told media persons amid roars of approval from his close supporters congregating his residence soon after the news of raids was televised.
“I heard raids are taking place at my farm house in Villupuram also. There is nothing there and they cannot find anything,” Dinakaran said and added any attempt to plant contraband will be detected by CCTV cameras there. My friends and lawyers have already reached the spot,” he said.
But what is of significance is that the Mannargudi clan has been hit where it hurts them the most – its business interests spanning media and liquor besides residential premises of close friends and extended relatives.
Under the canner were the party propaganda magazine, Namadhu MGR and Jaya TV, which are now directly controlled by Sasikala.
In fact, said a Dinakran supporter, that they were expecting these raids. “The raids are no surprise,” said Nanjil Sampath a senior MLA close to Dinakaran.
The EPS and OPS combine wanted to wrest control of the two party organs from Sasikala clan but clearly were unable to do anything as they are private properties under the ownership of Sasikala and her relatives.
Nanjil Sampath said “we will go to the people about the political vendetta being played out in these raids.” The raids were also carried out at Midas Distilleries and Jazz cinemas in which Sasikala and her extended clan has business interests.
Sources said the sleuths are also looking at the suspected shell companies, dubious investments and fudging of accounts. A couple of traders in gold from Shaukarpet, where Marwaris are thickly populated, are also under the IT scanner.