New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) The Income Tax Department has seized over Rs 25 crore cash after surveying a 300-safes strong private vault in the Chandni Chowk market area here, officials said on Monday.

The taxman has opened 39 lockers till now, out of the about 100 under scanner for alleged tax evasion, and the facility was under its radar since Diwali, they added.

The vault, sources said, is run by a businessman based in the bustling old Delhi market of Chandni Chowk and had an RBI approval to run the private facility.

They said the vault has about 300 lockers and traders from the ‘Khaari Bawli’, chandani Chowk and ‘Naya Baazaar’ area had their cash and jewellery deposited in these vaults.

The department has suspicion of tax evasion and stashing of unaccounted for cash and jewellery in over 100 lockers of the private vault facility and they are being opened one by one, they said.

“Over Rs 25 crore cash has been seized till now from 39 lockers. The survey action was launched sometime back over allegations of tax evasion by certain people who are reported to have kept their illegal stash in private vaults.

“However, the case is still under investigation and 100 more vaults are to be examined,” a senior I-T Department officer said.

A trader involved in the running of the private vault facility told the media that it was approved by the RBI in 1992 and he denied any wrongdoing or illegal business being done to evade income tax.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.