Rs 138 Cr GST fraud unearthed, 4 fraudsters including mastermind arrested in Odisha

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Cuttack: The Odisha Goods and Services Tax (GST) enforcement authorities today arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in fraudulently availing and passing of bogus input tax credit of Rs 138 Crores.

The accused persons have been identified as Rama Chandra Mallick of Jaipur, Dindayal Agarwal, Aditya Kumar Nayakand Atul Bansal of Rourkela. It is said that Bansal is the mastermind behind the GST fraud.

According to the GST officials, Bansal along with others created as many as 20 fictitious and dummy firms in the name of housewives, taxi drivers, daily wage labours, plumbers and unemployed youths.

In the name of giving gainful employment, they obtained identity documents from these people, taken registration and shown the purchase of Iron and Steel goods worth Rs 603 Crores and sale of Rs 743 Crores in their name without payment of tax and passed on bogus ITC worth Rs 138 Crores to recipients located both inside and outside the state of Odisha, the officials said.

Further, in order to legalise the fake transactions and hoodwink the department, the bank accounts have also been opened in the name of these dummy firms. Huge amount of cash transactions have been made through these accounts which are under investigation, the officialsadded.

During the course of the investigation, many of the dummy firms were found to be non-existent and were not operating from their registered place of business.

On being interrogated, the accused persons admitted that they were neither doing any business nor effecting any purchases or sales. They have also admitted that the transactions reflected in their returns are paper transactions without actual receipt and supply of goods.

Sources said, three accused were arrested from Rourkela and one from Jajpur by virtue of the power of arrest vested with the Commissioner Under Section 69 of OGST Act, 2017 for committing an offence under Section 132 of the said Act. The GST scam involves revenue loss amounting to Rs 138 Crores.

The accused persons were arrested under Sections 132 (1)(c), 132(1) (b), 132(1)(1) of OGST Act, 2017 and punishable under Section 132(1)(i) of the said Act, sources added.

The Commissionerate Police are taking steps to recover the bogus ITC availed by recipients of Odisha with interest and penalty, an official statement read.

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