Hide Tax Info on IPods

You got to give the hats off to these guys. Seems that while the whole world puts music, videos and contacts on Ipods, some smart people in India put tax info they wanna hide from the taxmen onto their Ipods. Cool. Damn cool. I like the ingenuity, even if it is being used for the wrong reasons here.

If you thought iPod was just a device to store music, get a second opinion from revenue intelligence officials. The department has unearthed a slew of cases where tax-evaders had stored records of their illegal transactions in iPods and pen-drives devices that can be easily concealed or destroyed.

During a raid on an industrialist in Haryana’s Yamunanagar town last year, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) found excise evasion of over Rs 55 lakh. However, no incriminating documents were found on computers or files. The sleuths then scanned a pen-drive and an iPod to find details of undeclared dealings stored there. The pen-drive was hidden in the industrialist’s bathroom.

This is hardly an isolated case. At another raid in Ludhiana, DGCEI officials seized a pen-drive allegedly belonging to the owners of plywood company, Perfect Agro. After deciphering its contents, officials found evidence of largescale evasion of excise duty.

Concealing secret transactions in pen-drives and iPods is fast catching up as a trend, say income tax and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials, who now take special care to seize these devices before laying hands on account books and computers during a raid. The internet too is a favoured hideaway for tax-evaders, who post details of illegal accounts on the web before deleting these files from their records.

Though these gizmos are small enough to fit into a shirt pocket, they have immense memory ^ ranging from 1 to 30 giga bytes. They are also very easy to discard. Officials believe that during many raids, pen-drives have been put into burning furnaces, crushed under car wheels or simply thrown into dustbins. In one case, a pen-drive was recovered from the driver of an accused.

Three rolling mills were raided in Shahdara area of east Delhi last September, where transactions worth Rs 40 crore was unearthed from data tucked away in iPods and pen-drives. Clearly, as gizmos get smaller the headache for enforcement agencies gets bigger.

Story via Times Of India