By Shailesh Yadav
New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): In the ongoing nationwide drive against fake Good and Services Tax (GST) invoice frauds since mid-November 2020, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and CGST Commissionerates have arrested 12 persons in a single day including a Chartered Accountant and a woman.
The Chartered Accountant arrested is Abhishek Singhal who was involved in running fake firms to issue fraudulent invoices. He is the 10th Chartered Accountant arrested so far who has been involved in bogus firms and/or issuance of fake invoices to fraudulently avail and pass on ITC without actual supplies of goods/services.
Department of Revenue sources told ANI that out of the 329 persons arrested so far, at least four persons have been booked under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) while the GST intelligence and CGST authorities have booked more than 3,200 cases against 9,600 fake GSTIN entities as of now. Also, the authorities have recovered more than Rs 1,000 crore from these fraudsters.
According to sources, the GST authorities have been using deep data analytics, integrated data-sharing and AI and ML tools along with BIFA to unearth the input tax credit (ITC) utilisation frauds via fake invoicing and bogus firms. The technology has enabled the GST ecosystem and intelligence authorities to identify layer-by-layer activities of these fake entities and their networking without any overreach and able to pinpoint the fraudsters with specific inputs to take targeted actions and further investigations against them.
It may be noted that the nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds has yielded record GST collections for over the last three months and has fetched record collections of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in December 2020 and Rs 1.20 lakh crore in January 2021. Sources expect a similar higher collection trend to continue in February 2021 as well.
Sources said that the CGST Jaipur Zone noticed that CA Abhishek Singhal was involved in three fake firms which were generating goods-less invoices of miscellaneous commodities. He did not co-operate with authorities during investigations, following which a charge sheet was filed against him in the Economic Offences Court where he surrendered later and was sent to judicial custody.
According to the sources, out of the 329 arrests so far there are 131 masterminds, 113 proprietors, 46 directors/managing directors, 17 partners, 5 CEOs/CFOs/CMDs, 10 chartered accountants, four accountants and one each of company secretary, broker, and GST practitioner. Arrested persons include fake entities operators and the end beneficiaries who connive with these fraudsters running businesses of fake invoices. (ANI)