IT searches on Tamil film industry producers, financiers yield ₹200 crore in undisclosed income

Premises of GN Anbu Chezhian, Kalaipuli S. Thanu, SR Prabhu, KE Gananvel Raja and Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan were searched.

Premises of GN Anbu Chezhian, Kalaipuli S. Thanu, SR Prabhu, KE Gananvel Raja and Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan were searched.

The recent Income Tax searches on film producers, financiers and distributors from the Tamil film industry have resulted in detection of undisclosed income exceeding ₹200 crore. Apart from this, undisclosed cash of ₹26 crore and unaccounted gold jewelery exceeding ₹3 crore have been seized. The searches that began on August 2 went on for four days. The Income Tax department did not share specific details on the violators.

The search operations were conducted in almost 40 places in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Vellore. Leading film financier GN Anbu Chezhian, who runs Gopuram Films and Production and Gopuram Cinemas Private Limited, was the first person to be searched. The tax sleuths also searched offices and properties belonging to producer and distributor Kalaipuli S. Thanu, SR Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures, producer KE Gananvel Raja and Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan.

Details provided by the Income Tax department show that during the course of the search, several incriminating documents and digital evidences relating to unaccounted cash transactions and investments have been seized. Secret and hidden premises have also been unearthed. The searches in the case of film financiers revealed documents including promissory notes. relating to unaccounted cash loans that were advanced to various film production houses and others.

In the cases of film production houses, evidence reveals tax evasion, as the actual amounts from the release of the films are much more than those shown in the regular books of account. The income so generated by them is deployed for undisclosed investments as well as for various payments.

Evidence seized in the cases of film distributors indicates collection of unaccounted cash from the theatres. As per the evidence, the distributors have formed syndicates and have systematically suppressed the theater collections, resulting in the suppression of actual income. Further investigation is in progress.

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