(From left) Actors Shivarajkumar, Puneeth, Yash, Sudeep
(From left) Actors Shivarajkumar, Puneeth, Yash, Sudeep
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Sources in income-tax department said the raids were conducted on a tip-off that films like The Villain and KGF may have been used to launder money.

Bengaluru: The income-tax (I-T) department Thursday carried out raids on the residences of four top Kannada film actors and three leading producers in a simultaneous state-wide exercise.

The bigwigs of the Kannada film industry woke up to the knocks of I-T officials on their doors. Actors Shivarajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar, sons of Kannada thespian late Rajkumar, and Yash and Sudeep came under the I-T scanner.

According to sources in the I-T department, these raids will continue for the next few days in 28 different locations across Bengaluru.

‘Complaint received’

Sources in the I-T department said that residences of Kannada producers ‘Rockline’ Venkatesh, Vijay Kiragandhur, Jayanna and C.R. Manohar were also raided.

“There have been a series of film hits such as The Villain, KGF from these actors and producers, after which we received a complaint alleging that any of these producers have been making profits which have not been declared with the department. Also, they may have used some of these films to launder money and these raids (were conducted) to find the veracity behind these claims,” a source told The Print.

The I-T department hasn’t released an official statement on the raids. The Karnataka police, who have been helping the I-T department with the raids, are also tight-lipped about any developments.

Sudeep, a well-known Kannada actor and the first one to address the media following the I-T raids, said that he believes the raids are linked to his films The Villain, KGF: Chapter 1 and Natasarvabhouma.

Sudeep said he didn’t believe the raids were politically motivated. He said that the I-T officials were searching the houses of everyone involved in the production of these movies.

(With inputs from PTI)

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