Odisha GST officials nab 'masterminds' behind bogus tax credits worth Rs 115.10 crore

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 16 (PTI) The Enforcement Wing of Odishas GST Directorate Friday nabbed two businessmen for their alleged involvement in availing and passing of bogus tax credit worth Rs 115.10 crore on the strength of fake invoices to the tune of Rs 641 crore, official sources said.

The accused have been identified as Gurdit Dang, Managing Partner of Tirupati Traders and authorized representative of Satguru Metals & Power Pvt. Ltd., Rourkela and Sujay Maitra, Director of Smartageis Trade Venture Private Limited of Rourkela, said State GST Commissioner SK Lohani.

While Dang has been arrested in Rourkela, Maitra has been arrested in Bhubaneswar, he said.

Lohani said the 'masterminds' in collusion with others, have availed bogus input tax credit (ITC) raising fake purchase invoices in the name of 16 fictitious or non-existent business entities located at Angul, Rourkela, Banai, Ersama, Tirtol, Riamal and Sundargarh.

The current investigation originated from a complaint filed by a dealer of Jogeswarpur, Balasore on supply of goods by the accused on the strength of fake invoices. The probe led to interrogation of five existing dealers of Panikoili, Baripada, Rasgovindpur, Bargarh, Puri and Balasore, who admitted to wrongdoing.

To set up and operate the fake firms, the masterminds obtained identity documents like PAN, Aadhar, Bank Passbooks of innocent people like plumbers, drivers, electrical mechanic, gas distributing boys, unemployed youth and people below poverty line living in Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) houses and availing PDS facility of different areas like Panikoili, Baripada, Rasgovindpur, Bargarh, Puri and Balasore and Jharkhand on the pretext of hiring them in different companies. They mis-used the documents obtained to get GST registrations.

The State GST Enforcement Wing has so far arrested 20 fraudsters for their involvement in issuance of fake invoices.

Registrations of 25,400 dealers have been cancelled so far by the state GST officers on the ground of their non-existence after field enquiry or due to non filing of returns.

To eliminate bogus registration, the registration process has been streamlined. Moreover, a two month long special drive starting from July 16, 2021 to September 15, 2021 has been launched to weed out all non-existing registrants.

The Commissioner of State GST appealed to the general public that they should not share their identity documents, personal details, bank details and other documents with any unauthorized persons.

Also, they should not permit any unauthorized person to operate a business or bank account on their behalf or in their name. In case, it comes to their notice that their credentials and other personal documents are being misutilised by someone for running a business the same should immediately be intimated to the nearest GST office, Lohani said. PTI AAM JRC JRC

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