The Income Tax department on Wednesday (February 5) seized about ₹24 crores of unaccounted cash and gold jewels from the premises of film financier Anbu Cheliyan and AGS entertainment in Tamil Nadu.
According to sources from the department, 20 places including actor Thalapathy Vijay’s residence was raided after the officials got a tip-off that a lot of unaccounted cash was pumped in for making the film Bigil, produced by AGS entertainment last year.
I-T sleuths have sought an explanation from Anbu Cheliyan regarding the same.
Earlier in the day, I-T officials turned up at the shooting location of actor Vijay’s new film Master at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC)’s second tunnel. The shooting of the Lokesh Kanagaraj movie had to be halted mid-way, sources said.
Meanwhile, he has been brought to Chennai for an inquiry in connection with a few transactions.
Until Wednesday evening, nothing had been seized from the actor’s residence. Officials said the raid would continue on Thursday since the actor was yet to reach his residence.
But this is not the first time that Vijay has come under the I-T scanner. Earlier in 2015, a day ahead of the release of his movie Puli, the sleuths raided his premises apart from the houses of actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Nayanthara.
During that time, I-T officials claimed that Vijay had pumped in unaccounted cash for the making and release of the film and after five years, confirmed that he was involved in partial tax evasion.
Though officials claim that the raids held on Wednesday were based on a tip-off, social media was abuzz giving political colours to it as the department recently withdrew all proceedings against actor Rajinikanth for allegedly hiding his income and are now “trying to frame” Vijay.
While the Bigil actor had borne the brunt of the BJP when he criticised the Union Government’s implementation of Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation in his entertainer Mersal, Rajinikanth has always extended his support to the ruling-BJP even after asserting that he wants to be away from the saffron party.