Navi Mumbai police busted a Goods and Service Tax (GST) evasion racket and seized silver and imitation jewellery worth ₹6.17cr. The consignment was headed from Mumbai to Pune and Kolhapur on behalf of at least 200 businessmen, the police said.
While the police have made a diary entry into the seizure, no case has been registered against them yet.
On Thursday, at around 1.30 am, the special squad of the zonal deputy commissioner of police spotted a pick-up truck while conducting a check at Vashi toll booth. During the routine questioning, the driver and another occupant of the vehicle roused suspicion of the police.
The duo told the police they were transporting silver and imitation jewellery items to Pune and Kolhapur. As their documentation was not in place and the driver was not providing a sound response to the police queries, they were brought to the Vashi police station.
“The consignment of 929.414 kg of silver and imitation jewellery was valued at ₹6.17cr. We informed the GST department officials, who made an inventory panchnama before the consignment was seized by the local police,” said Vinayak Vast, assistant commissioner of police, Vashi division.
Police estimate that with this consignment, the accused would have managed to evade ₹18.53L at 3 percent GST. The racket was in operation for the last two years where the businessmen would courier their items to the transporter in Mumbai. The accused person, who is likely to be brought in for questioning but remains to be identified, would collect the jewellery and then load it in the transport van for smuggling to the final destination.
Police will conduct an inquiry following the GST department’s preliminary probe report as to how many persons are involved in the racket.
“Following the complaint of the GST department, we will register the case against the accused persons. So far, we have learnt that 200 Navi Mumbai-based businessmen were availing this transport to evade GST,” said GD Devde, assistant inspector, special squad.