News agency ANI reported on Twitter today that “Income Tax Department summons Tamil actor Vijay over charges of tax evasion and his links with financier Anbu Chezhiyan.”
Four major Tamil film industry players were under the IT scanner. According to a press statement issued by the IT Department, on February 6, all of them were involved in the recent Tamil super hit film Bigil.
The IT raid on Actor Vijay’s properties and home made the headlines and had social media buzzing. According to a statement released by the Income Tax Department, “the common thread among these entities was the success of a recent film which was a box office hit, collecting around Rs. 300 crores.”
The entities referred to in the press statement are actor Vijay, Sundar Arumugam (the distributor of Bigil), AGS (the producer of the film), and Anbu Chezhiyan (financier). The statement says that the raid is still in process and they have seized “property documents, promissory notes, post-dated cheques taken as collateral security” and “ the seizure of unaccounted cash of around INR77cr” from properties in Chennai and Madurai, allegedly belonging to the financier, Anbu Chezhiyan.
On February 5, Income Tax officials questioned Vijay, who is currently shooting in Neyveli for his film with Lokesh Kanagaraj Master. IT sleuths had been raiding AGS Enterprises (producers of Vijay’s Bigil). News reports pointed out that close to 20 locations related to AGS have been raided.
Vijay was questioned by Income Tax Department officials in Cuddalore district “in connection with alleged tax evasion by AGS Cinemas.”
“In continuation of IT searches, Actor Vijay who is in a shooting at Neyveli is being brought back to Chennai by IT authorities. In the presence of Vijay, his house and bank lockers also will be searched,” ‘Savukku’ Shankar had said on Twitter.
IT officials confirmed that while they did not take the actor in custody, they did bring him back, and want to inquire about cash transactions. Officials also disturbed the shoot, according to news reports and sought to understand what his remuneration was for his previous film.
Actor Vijay takes a selfie with his fans at Neyveli from atop a van #Vijay #Master pic.twitter.com/5YkhpU83RV
— Poornima Murali (@nimumurali) February 9, 2020