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Income Tax survey at BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai ends, officials to likely issue a public statement today

The BBC issued a statement this morning saying that they would cooperate with the authorities and continue to report without fear

The 60-hour-long Income Tax Department survey operation at the Delhi and Mumbai headquarters of the BBC media was brought to an end on Thursday night. The three-day-long investigation concerned international taxation and the suspected transfer of BBC revenues. The Income Tax office is expected to provide a thorough public statement by today. 

According to the reports, the Income Tax officials left the BBC office premises on Thursday night after they studied the digital data and interrogated a few of its employees. Some of the officers were also stationed on the fifth floor of the BBC offices where the editorial staff works.

The BBC issued a statement this morning saying that they would cooperate with the authorities and continue to report without fear. “We are supporting staff- some of whom have faced lengthy questioning or been required to tay 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,” the statement by BBC read.

The Income Tax department on February 14 launched raids at the BBC premises in Delhi and Mumbai. The survey was conducted as a result of BBC’s willful disregard for the Transfer Pricing Rules and its massive profit-diversion practices. Amid the survey, the liberals and opposition parties alleged that the Center had directed the raids after the media house published a documentary regarding PM Modi and the Gujarat riots 2002.

During the raids, the agency advised employees of BBC India to refrain from deleting any files from their digital devices until the survey is finished. Reports mention that the officers only copied the digital data and none of the journalists phones were taken away. However, senior BBC staffers’ mobile phones were copied during the operation, which also involved scanning a number of computers and laptops. Afterwards, the computers and phones were returned to the authorities.

Until further notice, all BBC staffers were instructed to Work From Home, with the exception of the senior employees who requested to stay in the office. The raids ended on Thursday and the media organization has said that it would begin its regular operations immediately.

Notably, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju slammed the political parties who criticized the raids and said that the latter trusted the foreign news outlet but not the Indian investigative agencies.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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