The excise and taxation department has unearthed a value-added tax (VAT) refund fraud of Rs. 1.56 crore by a Ludhiana-based exporter, who forged export documents to falsely show a shipment of readymade garments worth Rs. 33.36 crore to Bangladesh.
The owner of Jaldhara Export situated in Ludhiana's New Moti Nagar had shown having purchased readymade garments worth Rs. 30.19 crore to later export the goods at a cost of Rs. 33.36 crores to Bangladesh through a West Bengal port in last financial year. The firm duped the state government of Rs. 1.56 crores by obtaining vat refund on forged documents.
Speaking to Hindustan Times over phone, Anurag Verma, excise and taxation commissioner, revealed that on getting suspicious about vat refund claimed by the firm, a department team was dispatched to West Bengal for getting the shipment documents verified from the customs officials concerned.
The Customs department in its report, however, said that no such shipment was exported through Patrapole Land Customs Station, Bangaon (West Bengal) by Jaldhara Export as was claimed in the shipment documents. "The name of the customs officers having found signed in the said documents does not match with the officers remained posted during the specified period in year 2012-13. The rubber stamp used is also fake, as it doesn't provide complete details of this customs station. Thus export documents relating to above exporter appear to be fake," report read.
Seemingly in a haste to fudge the documents, the exporter Raman Garg of Ludhiana's Aman Nagar, also showed date of shipment of a consignment as January 3 from West Bengal port to Bangladesh; two days in advance from January 5, the date on which the goods were having shown dispatched from information collection centre (ICC), Ludhiana railway station. In some cases, the consignments were shown having registered at Ludhiana ICC on the same date on which the consignment was shown having received at Benapole customs station in Bangladesh.
"The distance from Ludhiana to Patrapole check post (Bangladesh) is 1800 kms and it's not possible for a truck to cover the same in a day. On January 5, an export consignment was registered at ICC Ludhiana railway station at 6:25 pm while same consignment was later shown having entered at Benapole customs station in Bangladesh same day," Verma added.
The lust for easy money led Garg to prepare false transportation documents as well. In over 20 consignments having shown despatched from Ludhiana during January to April, he had claimed that garments worth Rs. one crore each were loaded in every truck. "Its impossible to load over Rs. one crore garments in a truck," Verma quipped.
The department also conducted surprise inspection at the firm's New Moti Nagar premises to find it closed. "Garg had conspired to cause huge loss of Rs. 1.56 crores to the state exchequer by claiming vat refund on forged documents. A case should be registered against him," the department recommended to Ludhiana police.
Ludhiana police commissioner Paramjit Singh Gill said that a case under section 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery for valuable security), 468 (forging for purpose of cheating), 469 (forging for purpose of harming reputation) and 471 (Using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC has been registered against Garg yesterday. "The accused is yet to be arrested. The economic offence wing under the supervision of assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Nimable Dharmendra Kumar Harsha has been entrusted to investigate the case," Gill added.