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Income tax 'survey' at BBC India offices in Delhi, Mumbai ends; statement likely tomorrow
BBC raids
Image Credit : BBC New Website

Income tax 'survey' at BBC India offices in Delhi, Mumbai ends; statement likely tomorrow

| @indiablooms | 16 Feb 2023, 11:34 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The income tax "survey" at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)'s Delhi and Mumbai offices ended on Thursday night after nearly three days of officials going through digital records, files and scanning laptops.

Some 10 employees, including the senior editors of Britain's largest public broadcaster, returned home after spending three days at the office in central Delhi's Kasturba Gandhi Marg.

The income tax department is expected to give a statement on Friday.

"The Income Tax Authorities have left our offices in Delhi and Mumbai. We will continue to cooperate with the authorities and hope matters are resolved as soon as possible. We are supporting staff - some of whom have faced lengthy questioning or been required to stay overnight - and their welfare is our priority. Our output is back to normal and we remain committed to serving our audiences in India and beyond," BBC's press team tweeted.

"The BBC is a trusted, independent media organisation and we stand by our colleagues and journalists who will continue to report without fear or favour," it said.

The tax officials have cloned the mobile phones of several BBC senior employees and scanned their desktops and laptops, media reports said.

They said the tax officials scanned the devices with keywords such as "tax", "black money", and "benami", which refers to money changing hands without passing through the formal banking system, said reports.

The IT ‘survey’ on BBC offices comes close on the heels of a ban on a BBC documentary on the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

According to officials, the IT survey was initiated in connection with alleged irregularities in international taxation and transfer pricing involving the BBC.

The tax officials gathered financial data from employees and made copies of documents of the news organization. Media reports said the tax officials confiscated phones and laptops during the operation.

On Tuesday, the offices were sealed for the ‘survey’ and employees were asked not to call anyone, media reports said.

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