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8 held for hacking into Sales Tax dept system to commit fraud
March, 30th 2016

Ahmedabad, Mar 28 (PTI) Police have arrested eight men including four government employees for allegedly hacking into the Sales Tax departments computer system to activate Taxpayer Identification Numbers of 14 defunct companies so as to fraudulently withdraw Rs 11 crore in tax credit.

TIN, an 11-digit number, is used by the manufacturers and wholesalers to get tax credit on VAT filed by companies. They use bills of materials supplied to companies to get tax refund.

The city crime branch and the cyber crime sleuths carried out an investigation after a case was filed by the Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax Mahesh Patel on March 4.

The accused, which included four employees of the Sale Tax department, tried to activate defunct TINs of 14 companies using departments computers on February 27 and February 28, when the department was closed for holidays.

They planned to use these TINs to get tax credits on fake bills of suppliers to these companies.

"When they activated the TINs, SMS was sent to the Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax which alerted him as only senior officials are allowed to process activation," said Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) J K Bhatt.
Among the arrested persons, Balmukund Thakkar, owner of a Rajkot-based protein supplement company, was found to be the mastermind. Other accused include Sales Tax department clerks Dahyabhai Parmar, Mehul Makampara, Ashok Detroja and Virendrasinh Parmar who allegedly provided login IDs and passwords.

Three other accused -- Shehzad Sheikh, Asif Farooqi and Abdul Salim Khan -- had knowledge of computers and hacking.

Last year, Thakkar had taken the help of Farooqi to make fake bills to get tax credit, but the attempt failed. In the process he owed Rs 33 lakh to them, and he hatched this new plan to repay them, police said.

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