A President's police medal winner who is currently a consultant with the Nagaland police is now under the radar for owning a firm with Rs 400 crore illegal wealth. The intelligence and criminal investigation wing of the income tax department in Kochi unearthed the massive unaccounted wealth said to belong to MKR Pillai, a well-known policeman in Nagaland.
A native of Kerala, MKR Pillai joined the Nagaland police force as a constable. Working his way upwards, he retired as Superintendent of Police only to be reabsorbed into the department as a consultant. The constable turned businessman owns an empire under the name of Sreevalasam Group. He is now suspected to have smuggled currency notes, gold and other commodities from Nagaland to Kerala in the safety of police trucks for more than a decade.
Income Tax officials chanced upon this officer thanks to demonetisation. 'Pillai Sir' as he is addressed across Nagaland, had declared assets worth Rs 50 crore following the demonetisation announcement in November. His net worth, however, was found to be disproportionate to his known sources of income. From there, block by block, the income tax officials discovered close to Rs 400 crore unaccounted assets belonging to him and his firm.
Sreevalasam Group, just a front for financial dealings
M K R Pillai was raided even as simultaneous raids were conducted in Kerala, Nagaland, Karnataka and Delhi. His company, the Sreevalasam group has multiple businesses including gold, textiles, jewellery, restaurants and real estate. Income tax officials now suspect that the firm was a front for illegal and suspicious financial dealings. Given his reputation and connections in Nagaland, officials are probing whether government funds, especially central funds for the state, were illegally diverted and later transferred through him to different places.
IT officials also suspect him to have engaged benamis as well as acting as a Benami for politicians and bureaucrats.
A truck that nailed the officer
In Kerala, income tax department officials found a Nagaland police truck parked in front of the retired police officer's residence in Pandalam on Friday. Officials suspect that this may have been one of the ways through which illegal assets were transported. The income tax department has booked Pillai's sons Arun Raj and Varun Raj. The retired officer will also be questioned in this regard.