Drive towards GST faux invoices, 25 held

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15

In a nationwide drive against Goods & Services Tax (GST) fake invoice, its intelligence and investigation wing DGGI has arrested 25 persons, including Sunil Gutte, son of sugar baron MLA in Maharashtra Ratnakar Gutte and two chartered accountants.

Sources in the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) said during raids at multiple locations across the country in the past one week, including Delhi, Ludhiana, Gurugram, Mumbai, Nagpur, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, the agency personnel found that fake invoices were issued for goods like waste and scrap of non-ferrous metals, readymade garments, gold, silver and construction services.

They said the DGGI had registered nearly 350 cases for issuing fake invoices against 1,180 entities and search and investigations are on to apprehend others involved in the racket and also the beneficiaries, who used the fake invoices to evade GST and income tax.

In the wake of fake invoices and hawala racket and their damaging impact on the stability of the economy, the procedure for new GST registration was also being tightened, the sources said.

“It is also being examined whether apart from taking action against the beneficiaries under GST laws, Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, issuers of fake invoices as well as beneficiaries of such invoices can be detained under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act,” the source said.

The DGGI Mumbai Zone arrested Sunil Gutte, Managing Director of Sunil Hi-tech, along with his business associate Vijendra Ranka, the two kingpins of fake invoice scams totalling Rs 520 crore of ITC in Maharashtra.

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