IT conducts raids at 30 locations of Pandalam-based Sreevalsam group premises in different states ,director of group DSI of police,K Rajendran Pillai

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Dimapur, June9:Sleuths of the Income Tax department carried out searches at some 30 premises owned by the Pandalam-based Sreevalsam group in the wake of suspicion that the group was involved in dubious financial activity, possessed assets that did not match with its known income, and operated businesses in Nagaland in the name of tribal ‘benami’ owners.

The searches, which were going on at some 25 locations primarily near Pandalam and Mavelikara in Kerala besides Bengaluru and Delhi, followed suspicion about the group’s sudden growth in the past five years and the huge influx of money into its business, which varied from jewellery and textiles to resorts and even a school at Aranmula, said a top investigator.

The officer said group chairman Rajendran Pillai was a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Nagaland Police, where he got retained on contract post-retirement.

“It is next to impossible that a government employee has the resources to operate businesses of this scale, both in Nagaland and the rest of India. Their properties in Kerala alone are valued at about ₹200 crore and the group recently acquired some five or six new resorts.”

The officer also cast suspicion over tribal persons from Nagaland figuring as stakeholders in companies of the group which were doing spare parts business, ran bakeries, owned fuel stations, and carried out civil contracts for the Nagaland Police. “This reinforces our suspicion as Mr. Pillai, who had joined the force as a constable over 30 years ago, is now in-charge of their transportation wing.”

“While their IT assessment is done at Dimapur in Nagaland, their assets are mostly in Kerala. Considering that outsiders are not allowed to own land in Nagaland, co-opting tribals from Nagaland as owners of certain businesses there certainly raises suspicion,” the officer said.

The group had five jewellery shops and their gold loan firm operated about 50 branches across the State.