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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The enforcement wing of the Commissionerate of GST and Commercial Tax on Thursday busted a major fraud in which fake invoices to the tune of Rs 294 were generated by 11 dealers in Bhubaneswar to evade GST.

Two persons- Pramod Sahu and Vikash Sarogi have been arrested on the charges of generating fake invoices worth Rs 294 crore and passing on bogus input tax credit (ITC) to the tune of Rs 52.77 crore. All the bogus tax input credit was passed on through multiple transactions rooted to various channels, informed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Commissioner, Sushil Kumar Lohani.

Also Read GST Evasion Over Rs 100 Crore Unearthed In Odisha, 2 Arrested

Lohani further informed that both Pramod and Vikash had set up 11 firms using forged documents and names of several people from Kandhamal district who were mostly farmers, daily wage earners among others. The dealerships were registered using forged documents and some house rent agreements in the names of persons who were already dead. The persons in Kandhamal against whose name the dealerships were registered were completely ignorant and the accused persons had lured them to sign blank cheques.

The entire racket was busted during analysis of analytics data and subsequent field visit by officers. During the probe, several computers and hard disks were also seized. Later, several Aadhaar cards and other forged documents were retrieved from the seized hard disks which will be used as evidence against the accused.

“We will write to GST Commissioners of other States to recover the tax and for further action,” Lohani added.

Senior officials informed that this is the fourth major scam to be unearthed in Odisha in which the officials have arrested nine persons. A major racket involved in Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion was unearthed with the arrest of two businessmen from Rourkela in the month of January this year. The two businessmen availed Rs 89 crore bogus input tax credit and passed on Rs 123 crore input tax credit by creating 28 fake firms for which the exchequer incurred a loss of around Rs 123 crore.

Also Read: Odisha businessman arrested for Rs 12.84 crore-GST evasion

In October last year, tax authorities had unearthed another Rs 138 crore GST fraud and arrested at least four persons involved in the racket that created fictitious firms and fake invoices. Investigations revealed that between August 2018 and September 2019, the fictitious firms used fake invoices and made purchases of over Rs 603 crore and sale of Rs 743 crore without paying taxes, but availed input tax credit.

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