The Goods and Service Tax (GST) officers have arrested 258 persons, including 8 chartered accountants (CAs), involved in fake invoice frauds.
The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) began its nationwide drive against GST invoice frauds in November last year.
The CAs who were arrested were allegedly operating multiple non-existent firms and fake entities to dupe the exchequer with fraudulent ITC utilisation in connivance with fraudsters and fly-by-night operators.
The Arrested CAs are from Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Ludhiana.
The chartered accountants’ regulatory body, ICAI have been informed about these arrests and have been asked to take appropriate actions as per their own rules.
The drive by GST intelligence and CGST authorities is ongoing with more than 2,500 cases booked against 8,000 fake GSTIN entities as of now. Authorities have recovered more than Rs 820 crore from these fraudsters.
“The eighth chartered accountant was arrested on Saturday along with his four business accomplices in Jaipur for operating 25 fake firms to fraudulently avail and pass on ITC through bogus invoices without actual supplies of goods/services,” DGGI said.
Out of the 258 arrested so far, at least two persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) also.
It is noteworthy that with complete data sharing among GST, customs and income tax, and apt use of Data Analytics, the GST intelligence authorities have been able to pin-pointedly identify those indulged in tax evasion through various means including fake bills and also those availing these bills through layers of intermediaries.
With the help of these changes, the DGGI has not only been able to unearth the fake firms but also the final beneficiaries of ITC frauds, like in the ITC scam in manpower services allegedly by big companies like Swiggy, the food delivery chain and Instakart, a subsidiary of e-com giant Flipkart.