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Pune GST Intelligence busts multi-state fake input tax credit scam worth Rs 145 crore

New Delhi, May 15, 2024 

In a major breakthrough, the Pune zonal unit of the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has busted a multi-state fake input tax credit (ITC) racket worth over Rs 145 crore and arrested one person from Rajasthan, official sources said here on Tuesday.

The operation was carried out by the Pune zonal unit over the weekend after starting a probe involving some firms in Pune and Goa, and finding that the tentacles spread across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, with the possibility of other states not ruled out.

The sources said that the scam involved at least 50 bogus firms which used fake/morphed/amended copies of documents and then claimed huge amounts of ITC without any actual supply of goods.

The sleuths of the zonal unit probed the CDRs, CAFs, and pattern of filing returns and analysed bank accounts to conclude that the syndicate, operating from different cities/states in the country, was creating bogus firms using aliases or fake identities using forged legal documents and even by-passing the unique biometric requirements for issuing SIM cards.

After chasing the culprits in several cities in different states, the GST sleuths got a tip-off that Rahul Kumar, the alleged mastermind of the bogus firms and the whole racket, was operating from Jaipur.

“We finally traced his exact location based on some e-commerce deliveries and SIM operators’ inputs. The team raided his home on Friday, found incriminating evidence and arrested Kumar,” said a DGGI Pune zonal unit official.

The GST sleuths also uncovered his unique modus operandi whereby they created many fake identities of proprietors/authorised signatories, using SIM cards based on forged Aadhar cards to have full control of filing the GST registrations, returns, payments, cancellations, getting OTPs, etc at any time as per their convenience.

Kumar was produced before a Jaipur court, which granted transit remand, and was brought to Pune where a Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court sent him to 14 days remand on Monday.

The sources said that further investigations are underway to trace out more fake firms that may have been created for committing fraud, the involvement of other associates/scamsters in this racket, mapping the end beneficiaries and recovering the cheated amount.

[The Stateman]

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