The State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Enforcement Wing of Odisha has unearthed a network of 24 fictitious firms generating fake invoices without the supply of goods and passing fake Input Tax Credit (ITC) to multiple beneficiaries.
As per the Commissionerate of CT&GST, Odisha, 12 teams consisting of 48 officers of the State GST Enforcement Wing (assisted by 35 Police officials) have nabbed 5 masterminds from Rourkela for their involvement in availing and passing of bogus ITC worth Rs 311.03 crore on the strength of fake invoices to the tune of Rs 1727.91 crore and for commission of cognisable and non-bailable offence u/s 132 (1) (b) (c) & (1) of OGST / CGST Act, 2017 read with section 132(5) of the said Act.
"The masterminds in addition to their own companies have created and operated 23 other fictitious/non-existent business entities in the district of Sundargarh for making bogus transactions in their name and to avail and pass on bogus ITC without physical receipt and supply of goods and have defrauded the State exchequer," Commissionerate of CT&GST, Odisha, said in a statement.
As per the department, in 2019-20 simultaneous raids and inspections were conducted to the place of business of 49 suspected non-existent business entities and it was found that 47 out of 49 business establishments were non-existent and fictitious. But, as proceedings have already been initiated by CGST Authority in 23 cases, the investigation in the remaining 26 cases are being done by the state enforcement wings.
The Enforcement Wing has arrested the masterminds of the fake racket.
For the creation and operation of the fake firms, the masterminds obtained identity documents like PAN, Aadhar, Bank Passbook, etc. of innocent people like primary school teachers, LIC agents, crane operators, daily-wage earners, farmers, street vendors, agents of vehicle registration and house-wives under the plea of providing them regular monthly documents for the purpose of obtaining GST registration and running fake business in their name.
The masterminds have also opened bank accounts in different banks like ICICI bank. Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Urban Co-operative bank, HDFC bank, Bandhan bank and Axis bank in the name of the said innocent person and operated the same by obtaining the signed checkbook, and signed RTGS form, ATMs and password from the account holder.
During the process of investigation, transactions in regard to 49 bank accounts opened and operated in different names have been examined in detail and approximately 173 persons have been interrogated to substantiate the charges and unearth the circular trading.
It is pertinent to mention here that the State Enforcement Wing has till date made 28 arrests over the involvement in the generation of fake invoices worth Rs 9196.26 crore and availing and passing of bogus ITC worth Rs 1739.84 crore.