The Income tax department apparently conducted the raids on the premises of Malayalam superstars Mohanlal and Mammootty following some tip offs from the central intelligence agencies on the contacts the actors had in Dubai.
The Intelligence bureau has been tracking the movements of the actors following some recent deals they had stuck in the Middle East with a shady character who is, in fact, controlling some Hindi movies.
The modus operandi of this individual, who is reported to have some contacts with a shady businessman in Dubai, is to jack up the satellite rights of the movies in which the actors are acting.
Highly placed sources in the Intelligence bureau and Income tax, while speaking to rediff.com, said that the Malayalam actors have also entered into some agreement with this person for increasing the satellite rights of their movies and the money is being paid to them in Dubai. However, on record, the actors were claiming a part of the sum as their remuneration from the films which they were acting.
While both Mammootty and Mohanlal charge hefty fees from producers, the exact rates which they show in tax records are much less, amounting only to lakhs. This has resulted in a major loss to the tax department. Sources in the IT department indicated that these actors were under the scanner of the IT department for a long time now. What made matters worse for them has been the insistence of the Intelligence bureau on the details of the character with whom they had interacted.
The intelligence bureau has been tracking the Bollywood industry for some time now and has found to its surprise the influx of several regional actors into the dragnet of these money laundering characters based out of Dubai. Sources indicated that this has resulted into a major swoop down by the IT department on the offices, residences and premises of close associates and relatives of Mohanlal and Mammootty.