CBI raids Mumbai company for EPF evasion

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today carried out searches on eight premises of a prominent Mumbai builder and developer for under-reporting employee numbers and evading employee provident fund (EPF) payments.

The CBI claimed the company had allegedly connived with four officials from the EPF Commissioner's office in Thane, diverting the employer's contribution to the EPF to other sources.

The CBI press statement said raids were carried out on the premises of Hirannadani Brothers. CBI teams conducted searches on seven premises in Mumbai after registering a regular case against four officials of the Regional Provident Fund Commissionerate, Mumbai and directors of the private group of companies ''having interest in real estate, hotel and resorts. During the searches, several incriminating documents were seized which are under scrutiny.'' According to the FIR, during the year 2003-05, the officials of Regional Provident Fund Commissionerate, Mumbai and two directors of private group of companies entered into a criminal conspiracy with each other for the purpose of cheating and prepared bogus bills of provident fund contribution of five companies of the group while such contribution were not paid and the companies were thereby allowed to get undue unofficial benefit of Rs 168 crore and corresponding loss to the government exchequer. It is alleged that the officers of Regional Provident Fund Commissionerate had inspected the five firms of the group and found that for financial year 2004-05, the five firms had not paid provident fund contribution to the tune of Rs 8.47 crore. Subsequently, only a small amount of Rs 2.20 lakh was deposited towards provident fund liabilities. Further, during the financial year 2003-04 also, one of the group of companies had to pay provident fund liabilities running into Rs 160 crore, but that was not paid.

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