In a nationwide crackdown of Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud and other defaults estimated to worth over ₹4,500 crore, The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) have arrested more than two dozen fraudsters in the past four days.
Several promoters, chartered accountants, two kingpins, two professionals, and the son of a Maharashtra-based politician have been arrested in the case, The Hindustan Times reported. The agency has also booked around 350 cases against 1,180 entities in connection with a fraudulent input tax credit (ITC) claims by allegedly using fake invoices.
The agency arrested MLA Ratnakar Gutte's son, Sunil Gutte, along with his business associate Vijendra Ranka in the scam worth ₹520 crores. According to the DGGI officials (Mumbai zone), Sunil's company, Sunil Hi-tech Engineers Ltd, was engaged in availing and utilizing ITC based on fabricated invoices, that were issued without any supply or receipt of goods or services.
The Mumbai DGGI has also booked a case against another company and their directors, who ran a racket of fake invoices for not availing GST but are also involved in bank loan fraud of more than ₹2,500 crores.
Chennai's GST and Central Excise Department on Friday has arrested two persons for committing a GST credit fraud of ₹35.72 crores. The department made the arrests after detailed investigation and searches. Both were presented before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. They have been sent to judicial custody till November 27.
The law enforcement agency has covered 28 cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Vadodara, Ludhiana, Chennai, Nagpur, Kolkata, Gurugram, Jind, Ballabhgarh, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhilai, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Mathura, Raipur, Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Patna, Imphal, Meerut, Guwahati, Pune, Siliguri, Bhopal and Bhubaneswar.
The agency works under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), the arm of the department of revenue.
The agency started the drive against tax evaders on November 9 and is expected to continue in the days to come, and many more arrests will be made. The DGGI official told the media that cases would also be investigated against the beneficiaries by the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering.
The goods that are involved in these cases include gold, silver, scrap, iron and steel articles, copper rods, wires, non-ferrous metals, plastic granules, PVC resin, and readymade garments.