While Pune's chief commissioner of income tax, Santosh Datta, refused to comment on absconding Hassan Ali Khan, a horse trader alleged to be involved in the Rs 35,000-crore hawala operation, the case is being monitored at the highest levels in the government. Sources have indicated that the amount could exceed the sum of Rs 35,000 crore that is currently being mentioned.
"This is a Mumbai case and has not emanated from Pune. It is a matter of investigation. We did carry out raids on his two houses in Pune," Datta said. However, Datta said that Khan did not file his tax returns in Pune and were not sure if he was filing them in Mumbai.
AJ Khan, director, investigations, said that the raids had yielded jewelry worth Rs 10 lakhm but did not reveal anything more. Apart from owning horses, Hassan Ali owned the entire property he resided in, at upmarket Koregaon, with a fleet of imported cars.
Datta refused to be drawn into the controversy and instead wanted to talk about Pune's tax collections, which he said would cross the Rs 9,000-crore mark and for the first time met targets. "The old target was Rs 8,500 crore. This was raised to Rs 8,700 crore and trends showed that there was a possibility of touching Rs 9,000 crore," Datta said. Concealed income available too, is up this year with surveys detecting Rs 250 crore-Rs 260 crore, excluding searches.