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Indian authorities accuse the BBC of tax evasion after raiding their offices

Private security guards close the gate of a building housing BBC office in New Delhi, India.
Altaf Qadri
/
AP
Private security guards close the gate of a building housing BBC office in New Delhi, India.

MUMBAI — After three days searching the BBC's offices in India, Indian tax authorities say they found evidence of unpaid taxes and undeclared income.

Without naming the BBC, India's Finance Ministry says its tax inspectors have found "crucial evidence" showing "discrepancies and inconsistencies" in the tax declarations of "a prominent international media company."

Press freedom advocates around the world have decried this week's raids on the BBC — in which journalists and accountants alike were questioned, and had their phones and laptops searched. Some slept in their office for two nights.

The searches came weeks after the British broadcaster aired a documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and his government banned it from being shown here.

The BBC has said it's cooperating with authorities and that its journalists here will continue to report "without fear or favor."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.