Income Tax Department officials reportedly found Rs 65 crores during raids of a well-known financier in the Tamil film industry, who has been connected to South Indian actor Vijay, after they produced his most recent film, Bigil. Reportedly Rs 50 crore in cash was recovered from Chennai and more than Rs 15 crore from Madurai offices.
Income Tax officials searched the properties of AGS Cinemas and film financer Anbu Cheliyan in Madurai and questioned Vijay in connection with an alleged tax evasion case. Vijay's home in Chennai too was searched yesterday, and an official has informed that the counting is still going on and a total seizure is likely to go up.
Several officials have claimed that their probe revealed unaccounted transactions between Abu Cheliyan and Vijay following which the actor's home on East Coast Road outside Chennai was raided.
As per the latest update, I-T sleuths landed at his residence for questioning. The questioning is with regards to his remuneration for Bigil, which had a successful run at the box office, sources were quoted as saying in reports. The shooting was halted following the arrival of the I-T officers and was called off for the day.
However, officials denied reports that the actor was escorted by them to Chennai from his shooting location in Cuddalore district yesterday. "We were extremely courteous. It was Vijay who chose to wind up and return home where his wife was when searches were undertaken. We know he is a big star and our senior officers had given specific instructions to treat him with utmost courtesy," an officer stated.
The searches were carried out in as many as 38 locations in Tamil Nadu. Income Tax officials say the searches are purely based on evidence and no political connotation ought to be given.
This is not the first time that the Income Tax has raided Vijay's properties. Ahead of the release of Puli, also starring late Sridevi, in 2015, his residence was raided. He had denied the allegations of tax evasion at that time. Meanwhile, fans of Vijay trended #WeStandWithVijay on Twitter with over 2 lakh tweets