Odisha’s GST Enforcement Authorities on Thursday arrested two persons for their alleged involvement in GST fraud of Rs 212 crore, officials said. GST Commissioner Sushil Kumar Lohani said two persons identified as Amit Beriwal, and Subash Chandra Swain, proprietor of two companies in Rourkela, were arrested on the basis of prima facie on their alleged involvement. He said physical inspection and search of 27 business establishment recently followed by intensive data analysis, it was found that the duo fraudulently availed Rs 89 crore of bogus input tax credit and passing of input tax credit of Rs 123 crore on the strength of fake invoices. They were arrested under various sections of Odisha GST Act, 2017.
Lohani said as per information available so far, Beriwal along with Swain and others have created as many as 28 fictitious and dummy firms in the name of persons belonging to basically poorer section of the society like daily wage labourers, private tutor, unemployed youths, housewives. The duo, considered as the mastermind also in the name of giving gainful employment, obtained identity documents from the poor people and took GST registration and shown purchase of iron and steel goods worth Rs 493 crore and sale of Rs 687 crore in their names without payment of tax and passed on bogus input tax credit worth Rs 123 crore to recipients located both inside and outside the state of Odisha, the official said.
In their bid to legalize the fake transactions and hoodwink the department, the duo opened bank accounts and operated in the name of these dummy firms. Huge amount of cash transactions have been made through these accounts which are under investigation, he said. Meanwhile, investigation has revealed that many of the dummy firms are non-existent and not operating from their registered place of business. Proprietors of these fake firms have admitted that they are neither doing any business nor effecting any purchases/sales in the name of their firms and the transactions reflected in their returns are paper transactions without actual receipt and supply of goods. Lohani said the GST fraud involves revenue loss amounting to Rs 123 crore. The Commissionerate is taking steps to recover the bogus input tax credit availed by the recipients of Odisha with interest and penalty, he said.