The local Crime Branch police on Tuesday arrested 18 coal traders in a VAT evasion case unearthed by the Sales Tax Department.
The arrests came after the traders lost their last-ditch escape bid with the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court rejecting their anticipatory bail plea last week. They have been remanded in two days police custody.
The traders were allegedly conspired to evade VAT by forging papers. They presented bogus bill to evade VAT. The purchaser they claimed to have bought it from has refuted that he ever sold them the coal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Kadam told The Indian Express. The ST Department had lodged an FIR against them in the case.
Anticipating arrest, the traders had moved the court of Additional Sessions Judge S C Chandak, which rejected the plea. They then moved the High Court, which too rejected the plea saying custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary.
The police finally arrested the 18 on Tuesday after they surrendered before the trial court.