New Delhi: The Income Tax Department was conducting searches at around 90 premises in south Tamil Nadu, covering four companies, reports said on Thursday. The four companies under the I-T radar are VV Minerals, Beach Minerals, Industrial Mineral Company & Indian Ocean Garnets Company. These firms are all linked to Tirunelveli-based mining company VV Minerals and its owner Vaikundarajan in Tamil Nadu, said ANI. (Also read: TDP Lawmaker’s House, Office Raided)

The searches were being conducted in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Karaikal in Tamil Nadu and Vishakhapatnam and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, officials told PTI. More than 130 officials were carrying out the operation with the help from security and police personnel. They said the companies that were being searched are involved in mining, processing and export of beach sand minerals in an alleged illegal manner that led the taxman to probe tax evasion charges against them. Some overseas transactions of these companies were also under the scanner, sources said.

Earlier this month, Income Tax officials had raided the premises of Delhi minister Kailash Gehlot. The raids were conducted at 16 locations linked with the Transport Minister in Delhi and Gurugram in connection with a tax evasion case. The raided premises include the minister’s South Delhi residence. The searches are being conducted as part of a tax evasion probe against two construction firms linked to the minister and others, the officials said.

Gahlot is the minister for transport, law and revenue and is an Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA from the Najafgarh Assembly Constituency. According to ANI, a search was also underway at Brisk Infrastructure and Developers Ltd & Corporate International Financial Services Ltd.