A constable outside DECO’s Dhansar office on Thursday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad, Aug. 30: Four premises owned by Dhansar Engineering Company Pvt. Ltd (DECO), an engineering and construction firm with roots in Jharkhand, were raided in Dhanbad on Thursday by income tax authorities as part of a nation-wide search to detect tax evasion to the tune of Rs 50 crore.
A 25-member income tax team that began carrying out the raids at 8.30am, seized Rs 5 lakh in cash and incriminating documents besides details of over 40 bank accounts operated by the company in various parts of the country. The team also got clues to property worth Rs 10 crore owned by the company.
The I-T officials who reached the Dhansar-based office of the company owned by Alok Agarwal, also raided his home in the same locality. Simultaneous raids were also conducted on the premises of associate company Black Diamond Explosives Pvt. Ltd. and the house of the latter’s owner Alok Khetan in Joraphatak area.
Sources said the tax evasion pertained to the period 2007 to the present. The income tax authorities had also detected tax evasion to the tune of Rs 60 crore during a similar raid in 2007.
When contacted, additional director (investigation) Amresh Tiwari confirmed the raid but refused to elaborate stating that searches were still on.
Notably, the Rs 500 crore company, which files an annual income tax return of around Rs 4.5 crore, was in the news recently over the war of words between Dhanbad MP P.N. Singh and deputy mayor Niraj Singh.
Niraj Singh accused P.N. Singh of patronising DECO during a face-off between the supporters of both leaders on August 17. Niraj Singh’s men tried to halt work at the Kusunda coal dump, demanding minimum wages (Rs 11,800 to 13,500 per month) for contract labourers engaged by outsourcing companies, as per the National Coal Wage Agreement IX.
DECO is at present engaged in coal and other minerals exploration besides burden removal, site levelling, transportation and other activities in mines belonging to BCCL and SAIL and private players in Dhanbad and Bhubaneshwar in Orissa.
The company is engaged in mining and transportation work in at least five open cast projects of BCCL including Jogta OCP, Kusunda OCP, Gazlitand OCP, Jeena Jora OCP and Dhansar OCP.
Established in 1997, DECO apart from BCCL is also engaged in mining activities in Chasnala OCP of SAIL, and Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd mines in Bhubaneshwar.