Businessman held for GST fraud  for availing bogus ITC worth Rs 19 cr

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 28 (UNI) Odisha State GST Enforcement Wing on Monday arrested the proprietor of M/s S.R Enterprises for availing and passing of bogus Input Tax Credit (ITC )worth Rs.19.04 crores.
GST Enforcement wing sources said Smruti Ranjan Sahoo, the kingpin, in collusion with others, has availed ITC raising fake purchase invoices in the name of 14 fake business entities located at Angul, Jajpur, Rourkela, Jagatsinghpur, Bhubaneswar and Paradeep.
Sahoo has passed bogus ITC on the strength of fake invoices to the tune of Rs.106 crores to the recipients of both inside and outside the State of Odisha against the sale of goods purchased fictitiously and has defrauded the state exchequer.
The GST fake invoices worth Rs 106 crores have been issued within a very short span of time.
Investigation revealed that Sahoo has submitted false information regarding the location of the declared place of business and forged the rent agreement.
His firm S R Enterprises neither physically exists nor does any business and the transaction of purchase and sale shown are all paper transactions.
In order to regularize the paper transaction, Sahoo has routed the amount of purchase and sale through his bank account.
Scrutiny of bank account revealed that Sahoo has shown receipt of all payments towards fictitious sale of goods but his payment towards purchase of goods from fictitious firms is found to be negligible.
Investigation further revealed that goods weighing in Ton have shown to have been transported through two wheelers, three wheelers and four wheelers on many occasions.
During interrogation, the mastermind is admitted to have colluded in creation of the dummy firms for issue of fake invoices and passing of bogus ITC through them.
The offences committed are cognizable and non-bailable offence u/s 132 (1) (b) (c) & (l) of OGST Act, 2017 read with section 132(5) of the said Act and is punishable U/s 132(1)(i) of the OGST Act, 2017.
The fraud in respect of above fictitious firms came to light when the Enforcement Wing conducted a statewide search operation regarding fictitious firms during November and December 2020.
During investigation, it was found that the accused along with some other co-accused has collected identity documents such as Aadhar card, PAN card, photographs, Bank pass book from unemployed youths, farmers, housewives, drivers of Rourkela, Jagatsinghpur, Angul, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri . and misutilised them to create and operate fake firms to defraud the state exchequer.
The State GST Enforcement Wing has so far arrested 18 fraudsters for their involvement in issuance of fake invoices.

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