Income Tax officials raid four casinos in Goa

30 April 2014

From Times of India


PANAJI: Income tax sleuths on Tuesday raided four offshore casino vessels and one onshore casino in Panaji, on a tip-off that they were indulging in illegal cash transactions.

A team of officers from Bangalore raided the offices and vessels of Deltin Royale and Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride 1 and Pride 2, as well as Hotel Neo Majestic in Porvorim that lodges Casino Paradise.
The residences of company directors B R Arora, Ashok Wadia and Ashok Khetrapal in Goa, Mumbai and Delhi were also raided, I-T sources said.
The casinos in Goa were shut down for the day, and customers present, when the income tax officials arrived, were asked to leave. "But, we have not sealed any of the casinos yet," an I-T detective clarified.
"We received information that the casinos were being used for money-laundering. As many of the high-rollers do not divulge the source of the money they spend gambling, the casinos are also unable to keep an account of the same," said an I-T sleuth. "We have seized a large number of documents and some cash, and are now going through the accounts to gather evidence. It may take a few days to complete the process," he added. In 2013, the Goa government had mandated that all casino operators follow certain 'Know Your Customer' norms, requiring them to keep a record of the identity of every customer and the source of the person's money. It is also compulsory for casino operators to report financial transactions of more than 10 lakh to the financial intelligence unit of the central government.
All customer-related data should be retained for 10 years, according to the guidelines.
When contacted, the general managers of both groups declined comment, and said they were unsure if they would be able to take in clients on Wednesday. The staff was, however, required to report at work on Tuesday, sources said.


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