Shillong, October 22: In a recent operation spanning four days, officials from the Income Tax (I-T) Department, hailing from Vijayawada and Tirupati, successfully confiscated approximately 300 kilograms of unaccounted gold from four jewelry stores located in Proddatur, a town nestled within Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district.
As per IANS, Proddatur is renowned for its flourishing gold business, often affectionately referred to as the ‘second Bombay’ and the ‘town of gold.’ However, it appears that not all aspects of this gold trade were as pristine as its reputation suggested. I-T Department officials uncovered that certain jewelers in the town were discreetly procuring gold from various sources, all without the requisite invoices.
What made this situation even more alarming was the discovery that these significant quantities of gold were entirely unaccounted for within the shops’ books. In an operation conducted under tight security, the seized gold was subsequently transported in suitcases and cartons to Tirupati for further examination.
The investigation also shed light on the fact that these jewelers had been sourcing their gold from regions such as Gujarat, Mumbai, and Kolkata, all without the necessary supporting documentation, raising serious concerns of potential irregularities.
This meticulous operation was initiated based on a tip-off that certain prominent jewelers in the area might be involved in clandestine activities. With Proddatur boasting over 1,000 jewelry shops, the I-T Department’s actions sent ripples through the market. As a result, numerous jewelers opted to temporarily close their shutters, causing disruptions in the sale of jewelry, especially during the ongoing festival season.