KOCHI: In what seems to be a major scam allegedly involving politicians and high ranking officials in Nagaland, the intelligence and criminal investigation wing of the income tax department in Kochi has unearthed unaccounted money worth Rs 400 crore from a firm owned by M K R Pillai, a former additional superintendent of police in Nagaland.
Simultaneous raids were conducted in Kerala, Karnataka, Nagaland and Delhi after doubts emerged that Pillai’s Sreevalasam Group was involved in suspicious financial dealings. In Kerala, the raids were conducted on the offices of the group in Pandalam, Mavelikara, Thiruvananthapuram and Aranmula. Residences of Pillai and his relatives in Pandalam, Kottarakara and Mavelikara were also raided.
I-T sleuths began investigation against Pillai after they found that he had declared assets worth Rs 50 crore following demonetisation announcement in November. Pillai’s net worth was found to be disproportionate to his known sources of income. Pillai, who joined the Nagaland Police as a constable in Mokokchung in 1971, retired as additional SP. He received the President’s police medal for meritorious service in 2005. Called ‘Pillai Sir’ across Nagaland, he is known to have close links with top politicians and is influential in police headquarters there. He retired from the force six years ago.
Sreevalsam Group has a variety of business interests, including jewellery, textiles, gold loan, resorts and schools in Kerala and other states. “The group also has businesses in Nagaland started in the name of benami owners,” I-T sleuths said. “An additional 100 crores will be declared voluntarily by the group as taxable assets. Proceedings have been started against Pillai and his sons,” said a senior IT official.
Nagaland DGP LL Doungel said he was surprised about the unearthing of Rs 400-cr assets from the premises of Pillai, who is currently employed with the Nagaland Police as a motor transport (MT) consultant.
“Pillai is currently working as a MT consultant as a post-retirement engagement with Nagaland Police. I have read in newspapers about the I-T raids and I am concerned. He is currently away in his hometown on leave and will be back here next week. Let him come back and it will be better to gather from him whatever is there in the case,” Doungel told TOI.
I-T sleuths suspect Pillai to be a frontman for politicians and top bureaucrats in Nagaland. They are probing whether government funds, especially central funds for the state, were illegally diverted and later transferred through Pillai. Officials said Pillai will be questioned in this regard.
Disney Tom TNN Times of India