Santiago Martin RaidedMay 2nd 2019 17:31
The Martin Group, owned by Santiago Martin, has had more than 70 properties raided in an ongoing investigation into tax fraud by the group. Officially, Martin works as a marketing agent for Indian lottery groups run by state governments. The Income Tax Department has searched properties in Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Siliguri, Ranchi and Ludhiana for evidence of anything untoward. Martin was held at Kolkata Airport after the raids and later questioned before being released.
An official involved in the enquiry said: “As of now, we have seized Rs 40 lakh cash from one of his premises. There are more seizures, but it would take some time to collate the information trickling from various places.” As of yet, no conclusive evidence of tax evasion has been found and all relevant documents were available for this latest search on Martin’s properties for evidence of tax evasion or money laundering.
Martin has always been very active within the lottery industry in the North-eastern states of India as well as Kerala, but he also owns a large portfolio of properties across the country. He took a hit in 2003 when lottery sales were outlawed in Tamil Nadu, but soon recovered. In 2016 Martin had RS. 122 crores worth of property seized when his company was the official lottery distributor for the state of Sikkim in a tax avoidance case. Known in India as the ‘Lottery King’ Santiago and his associates have been the subjects of fraudulent lottery enquiries by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigations for a number of years now.
The jackpots keeping growing in the USA with the Powerball on Sunday set to be worth at least $199 million, while the Mega Millions jackpot is at $252 million. On Tuesday the EuroMillions had a Spanish jackpot winner of €25 million and has now been reset to €17 million for this Friday’s draw, while the UK Lotto has also seen its share of smaller winners since last week and now has a jackpot worth £4.4 million for this Saturday.
Written by Chris Brown