BMC Jumbo COVID Centre Scam: IT Depart Sleuths Raid 26 Locations In Mumbai, Delhi & Gujarat

BMC Jumbo COVID Centre Scam: IT Depart Sleuths Raid 26 Locations In Mumbai, Delhi & Gujarat

The taxmen raided several locations linked to civic contractor Romil Chheda, who supplied oxygen cylinders to Covid hospitals and allegedly billed the BMC five times the cost price.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Monday, October 16, 2023, 11:52 PM IST
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BMC Jumbo COVID Centre Scam: IT Raids Underway In Mumbai, Delhi & Gujarat; Dozens Of Locations Searched | Representative Image

Mumbai: The Income Tax Department on Monday raided civic contractors, vendors and suppliers at 26 locations in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Delhi, Varanasi and Prayagraj in connection with alleged tax evasion on purchase of oxygen plants and equipment supplies to BMC jumbo Covid-19 field hospitals.

The taxmen raided several locations linked to civic contractor Romil Chheda, who supplied oxygen cylinders to Covid hospitals and allegedly billed the BMC five times the cost price. The civic authorities paid ₹140 crore to Chheda for oxygen procurement and supply during the pandemic, but less than half of that money was used for the actual work and the rest was siphoned off, officials said.

Allegations of bogus entries

The taxmen suspect the contractors and vendor made bogus entries to show minimal profits to evade taxes. “Bogus expenses and invoices were raised to inflate the costs of procurement. Paper companies were formed to divert funds into shell accounts and evade taxes,” a senior I-T official said.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offence Wing (EoW) had registered cases in the ₹4,000 crore irregularities in expenditure on Covid-related contracts. The ED had investigated Chheda for money laundering in connection with the BMC Covid scam.

Chheda is a politically influential contractor working in the BMC. Through his company he was involved in the renovation work at Byculla Zoo.

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