New Delhi: Sources in the Income Tax department have said that they grilled two serving executives of the Axis Mutual Fund in connection with the alleged front-running case.

Twelve fund managers were on the radar of the I-T department. The sources said that two were questioned in connection with front-running and alleged tax evasion.

Jinesh Gopani, head of equity at Axis AMC and Pawan Jhangiani, a dealer at Axis AMC were also reportedly questioned by the I-T officials.

On July 28, the I-T department had conducted raids at the premises of its former Chief Trader and Fund Manager of Axis Mutual Fund, Viresh Joshi.

Joshi was on the radar of I-T department since May after it was found that the latter was in possession of a Lamborghini and luxury apartments in Mumbai.

It has been alleged that Joshi acquired all these allegedly through front-running.

The I-T department recorded the statement of Joshi and a few more brokers. The department gathered information from SEBI before conducting raids.

Joshi has been accused of taking bribes from the brokers in lieu of sharing mutual fund's tips. It has been alleged that after indulging in such practices he gained financial benefits from the brokers.

It was also alleged that the brokers used to pay him monthly. Joshi allegedly invested in mutual funds by buying many midcap and small stocks to benefit the brokers and himself.

The I-T department had in May formed a team of its elite officials to look into the alleged front-running scam ofAxis Mutual Fund.

Since then around 12 fund managers, including Joshi, have been on the radar of the I-T department.

The Income Tax department was surprised as the alleged accused didn't furnish the information about their real estate in the tax filing which was later detected.

The I-T department in its preliminary inquiry found that the fund managers have a number of commercial and non commercial assets which they allegedly hid in their tax filing. They had even shown that they were not earning from their real estates.

The department has learnt that the fund managers were earning rent from their properties on which the tax was not paid.

The I-T department is also looking into their source of income, as to how the fund managers were able to buy luxurious apartments and other properties.

Now, the fund managers are facing the tax evasion case and there are also possibilities that they might face a parallel probe in their sources of income. 

—IANS



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