News Karnataka
Saturday, January 28 2023

25 held for fake GST invoices across India

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New Delhi: GST investigation authorities have arrested 25 persons in a nationwide drive against fraud through fake GST invoices in the last four days, sources said on Sunday.

According to the sources, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) intensified the drive against unscrupulous elements for availing and passing on input tax credit (ITC) fraudulently through fake invoices, non-existent or fly-by-night firms and circular trading in the second week of November.

The sources said that the procedure for new GST registration will be further tightened. GST registration in appropriate cases will now compulsorily require physical and financial verification.

During the latest drive, Sunil Gutte, son of a sitting MLA and sugar baron Ratnakar Gutte, was among the 25 persons arrested in around 350 cases registered for issuance of fake invoices against 1,180 entities.

The DGGI Mumbai Zone arrested Sunil Gutte, Managing Director of Sunil Hi-tech, along with his business associate Vijendra Ranka, the two kingpins of fake invoice scams totalling Rs 520 crore of ITC in Maharashtra.

Following the crackdown on GST fake invoice frauds, DGGI and CGST formations have so far acted in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Chennai, Nagpur, Kolkata, Gurugram, Jind, Ballabhgarh, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhilai, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Mathura, Raipur, Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Patna, Imphal, Meerut, Guwahati, Pune, Siliguri, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, among other places.

Sources said inquiries showed that Sunil Hi-tech Engineers Ltd availed fraudulent ITC to the tune of Rs 304 crore from multiple entities and passed on fraudulent ITC to the tune of Rs 216 crore to multiple entities, based on bogus invoices issued, without any receipt or supply of goods or services.

Another case against Oshiya Ferro Alloys Pvt Ltd was booked for passing on fake ITC amounting to Rs 209 crore involving bogus supply of iron and steel articles.

It was found that they allegedly ran the racket of fake invoice for not only evading GST but also to commit a massive bank loan fraud of more than Rs 2,500 crores, said people in the know. Sunil Hitech has gone to NCLT reportedly to get rid of the fraudulent loans burden.

The Delhi CGST Zone booked a case of GST fraud against Krishna Trading Co for issuing invoices without supply of goods and passing on ITC amounting to around Rs 397 crore.

The fake invoices were for the supply of metal scrap. They had created 31 fake firms, the sources said. Owner Lallan Shah has been arrested.

The CGST Delhi (East) Commissionerate arrested a fake billing mastermind Ashish Aggarwal, who allegedly supplied fake invoices to Sanjay Garg, proprietor of Devyaani Agro Industries, Ballabgarh, Haryana, for availing ITC to the tune of around Rs 20 crore and for passing further ineligible ITC to the tune of around Rs 30.04 crore to various entities.

Others arrested in Delhi include Rakesh Sharma, partner of Baan Ganga Impex, and Ashish Goyal, Director of Devansh Wire and Cables Private Limited.

The DGGI Gurugram Zonal Unit arrested one Kabir Kumar who masterminded the fake billing of MS scrap, MS bars and mobiles through a web of more than 30 bogus firms, involving fake ITC of Rs 500 crore.

A case was also registered against Satinder Kumar Singla based in Haryana, who was instrumental in creating a number of bogus firms in Haryana and Rajasthan, for passing on fraudulent ITC of Rs 13.08 crore on MS scrap and TMT bars. Singla has also been arrested.

Similar arrests were made across the country — in Surat, Vadodara, Ludhiana, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Meerut, Bhilai, Raipur and Jodhpur.

DGGI sources said that the drive against the GST evaders and ITC fraudsters is expected to further intensify in the days to come and many more arrests will be carried out.

A top source said that the cases would also be investigated against the beneficiaries by the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering.

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