Income tax officials today raided the homes and offices of Malayalam super starts Mammootty and Mohanlal across four cities, with both the superstars believed to be owning huge business interests in various sectors.
IT sleuths knocked on their doors at 6.30 a.m. A team of 80 officials simultaneously verified records at their homes in Kochi and offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.
During the searches, a pair of elephant tusks was recovered from Mohanlal’s home here, say income tax officials.
Both superstars have the same chartered accountant who has his head office in Thiruvananthapuram.
For Mammootty, the raid came a day after his son’s engagement in Chennai. Sources close to him indicate he was supposed to have left for Kochi Friday morning.
Mohanlal is at a shooting location in the coastal town of Rameshweram in Tamil Nadu. He has interests in film production, distribution, IT education, the financial sector. Besides, he is an active player in the real estate sector along with his close friends.
Mammootty’s interests also include a film production house and he is the patron of a new boutique hospital in Bangalore.
Last week Kozhikode businessman K.A. Rauf, without naming anyone, said a Malayalam superstar and a business house in the state are engaged in a huge real estate deal in Maharashtra.
The IT sleuths locked the homes from inside and no one was allowed to come in or go out as they prepared their report based on the superstars’ IT returns.
Reacting to the raids, another top Malayalam film star on condition of anonymity told that it was a positive move. “Let the law be the same for all,” the star told.
The raids also come at a time when the two superstars, after nearly three decades in the industry, appear to be losing their iron grip, with most recent films bombing at the box office.