(This article is authored by Alar)
In what has become the rain of raids in Kollywood, some of the top bigheads in the industry have been brought under the scanner of the Income Tax Department. Several teams of IT sleuths have stormed the residences and properties of prominent producers. Dozens of properties have been taken into custody as Tamil Nadu witnesses the unprecedented scale of searches.
The IT Department has begun its raid in the wee hours of Tuesday (August 2) and the Centre's agency has raided over forty locations in Madurai and ten locations in Chennai. Popular cinema financier GN Anbu Cheziyan and notable producers Kalaipuli S Thanu, SR Prabhu, and Gnanavel Raja have come under the scanner and their residences are being searched.
The premises of Anbu Selvan's offices and his Gopuram Cinemas have been raided by the officials. The searches began at around 7 am in Madurai and Chennai and the police have been stationed at these locations. It is the third time that Anbu Chezhiyan has been raided by the Income Tax officials. Earlier in February 2020, the IT officials stormed into Chezhiyan's residence in Chennai after the release of actor Vijay starred 'Bigil'.
During that time, the officials seized about Rs 65 crore in cash and besides, Chezhiyan, the Income Tax Department brought actor Vijay and the movie producer Kalpathi Agoram into the scanner. Anbu Chezhiyan has been a top financier in the Tamil movie industry and he has backed several superhit movies. In November 2017, Anbu Chezhiyan was accused of abetting the suicide of producer Ashok Kumar, who committed suicide due to harassment by the financier over debts.
According to the official, the search and seizure operation started at around 7 am. More than ten Income Tax authorities have been conducting raids at the Kalaipuli Thanu production company's office in T. Nagar Prakasam Road in Chennai since this morning. Some producers are reportedly on the income tax division's watch list. Notably, the office of producer Kalaipuli Thanu is also being searched after by IT officials.