Kochi, Dec 24 (IANS) Malayalam actor Dileep Tuesday said he was pained at hearing "baseless news" about foreign currency being recovered after his house and offices were raided by excise and service tax officials.
"I was really pained to hear some TV channels air such news about me. I am a person who has been working hard for the past 18 years and my life is an open book," the the 45-year-old actor said after visiting the office of the central excise department.
He said that after the raids were over, a section of the media went gaga with revelations of foreign currency being recovered from his home and offices.
"Just $350 was found. My brother-in-law had just returned from the US and with regards to the cash, I had withdrawn from the bank as construction of my theatre in Chalakudy is going on.
"I showed the records of the cash that was withdrawn. I have paid all what I had to pay till the month of October this year," Dileep said.
A press statement issued by the central excise department Saturday said the raids were based on intelligence reports that Dileep evaded payment of service tax by hiding details of his remuneration.
"The reason why today it took a long time for me to come out of the office was because since July last year, a new service tax has been levied for the film industry and I had a lot of questions to ask the officials on it as the service tax still lacks clarity.
"They also had lots of things to ask me and hence the delay took place," said Dileep.
In the Malayalam film industry, Dileep is currently rated as the most sought after actor after the two superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
Beginning his career from behind the scenes by working as an assistant director to ace filmmaker Kamal, Dileep is also a good mimic.
In the early 1990s, he started doing cameos and later he proved his mettle through films like "Sallapam" and "Punjabi House" to name a few.
In 2000 and 2002, with blockbuster films like "Thenkasi pattenem" and "Meeshamadhavan", Dileep scaled newer heights and has since then remained at the top.
He later married Malayalam actress Manju Warrier.