New Delhi: The Income Tax (I-T) Department has recovered over Rs 5 crore in cash during raids at the Noida residence of former Uttar Pradesh-cadre IPS officer Ram Narayan Singh, sources in the I-T department told ThePrint.
According to a source, over 600 lockers were found in the basement of Singh’s Sector-50 residence in Noida, and many of them had “unaccounted for cash”. All the lockers have now been sealed, the sources said.
Singh runs a private locker business under the name Manasam Noida Vaults, and provides private locker facilities to customers. All the lockers are in the basement of his residence, sources added. Singh has denied there is anything amiss about the money.
In a statement to reporters outside his Noida residence, Singh Wednesday said he was in his village when told about the raids. He said he had been running “a legitimate business” of renting out private lockers for the last five years and didn’t do anything illegal.
“I was told that the I-T department has come for checking of the private lockers and the search is on. I have nothing to hide as I am running a legitimate business and have several customers who are using these services,” he said.
“Among the lockers, I also have two lockers where I keep my cash and jewellery. Those lockers have been checked by the I-T department and the cash and jewellery is all accounted for. Other lockers are being checked,” he said. “I have done nothing wrong. It is a legal business. We rent out lockers just like banks do and there is nothing illegal about it.”
The I-T officials are using a bank counting machine to count the cash recovered from these lockers and the process is on, sources said.
According to the source quoted above, the I-T department received information about unaccounted for wealth at the Noida and Ghaziabad residence of Singh. Following the lead, a team of I-T department officials, along with Noida Police, reached Singh’s residence on 30 January and started the searches.
The I-T department hasn’t issued any official statement yet as the searches are still on.
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‘Locker owners will be asked for details’
While many lockers are used by genuine buyers, investigators suspect there are benami lockers too, where unaccounted for cash and some jewellery was kept, said sources.
I-T officials, sources said, have made a list of people who were using this locker facility and notices will soon be issued to them.
“It needs to be checked if these lockers are genuinely rented out by actual customers or are benami. Moreover, the people who have kept their cash or valuables in these lockers will also be asked to give details about the source of the money and jewellery,” the source quoted above said.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)