Economy

GST Fake Invoice frauds: 8 Chartered Accountants among 258 persons arrested so far

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2021

Eight Chartered Accountants are among 258 persons arrested so far in the nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds in last two-and-a-half months since November, 2020.

The eighth Chartered Accountant was arrested on Saturday along with his four business accomplices in Jaipur for operating 25 fake firms to fraudulently avail and pass on Input Tax Credit (ITC) through bogus invoices without actual supplies of goods/services.

Out of the 258 arrested so far, at least two persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) also, DGGI sources said.

The drive by GST intelligence and CGST authorities is ongoing with more than 2,500 cases booked against 8,000 fake GSTIN entities as of now. Authorities have recovered more than ₹820 crore from these fraudsters.

Sources said that the chartered accountants’ regulatory body, namely, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), has been been asked to take appropriate action as per its own rules.

CAs arrested in multi-layered fake GST invoice frauds via multiple bogus firms include BS Gupta (Jaipur), Daulat S Mehta and Chandra Prakash Pandey (Mumbai), Lalit Prajapati (Ahmedabad), S Krishnakumar (Chennai), Nitin Jain (Delhi), B Srinivasa Rao (Hyderabad) and Ankur Garg(Ludhiana). They all were operating multiple non-existent firms and fake entities to dupe the exchequer with fraudulent ITC utilisation in connivance with fraudsters and fly-by-night operators, sources added.

Revenue Department sources said that with complete data sharing among GST, customs and income tax, and apt use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the GST intelligence authorities have been able to identify those indulging in tax evasion through various means including fake bills and those availing these bills through layers of intermediaries.

It is with these measures that the DGGI has not only been able to unearth the fake firms but also the final beneficiaries of ITC frauds, like in the ITC scam in manpower services allegedly by big companies like Swiggy, the food delivery chain and Instakart, a subsidiary of Flipkart. This concerted drive has ensured better GST compliance and record GST collection of more than ₹1.15 lakh crore for December 2020. This has resulted in an increase in the number of GSTR 3B return filers to more than 87 lakh in the month of December, they added.

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Published on January 24, 2021
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