The sales tax department recently stumbled upon a Rs41.51 crore value-added tax (VAT) evasion scam at Sewri wherein traders were allegedly issuing false invoices across the country.
In the racket, which has been active for the last four years, the department has nabbed five men, including two traders, and handed them over to the Sewri police, assistant commissioner of Sales Tax Girish Katti told DNA.
Confirming the arrests, senior inspector Bharat Gaikwad of the Sewri police said, We acted on the complaint of Katti to place Pramod Singh, 46, Suresh Singh, 40, Avinash Singh, 33, Vinodkumar Mourya, 35 and Jagdish Kinjale, 25, under arrest for cheating , forgery, criminal conspiracy and various sections of the Maharashtra Value Added Tax (MVAT) Act, 2002.
All five, including Pramod, a partner in the Sewri-based National Enterprises, and trader Suresh Singh are in the custody of the sales tax cell of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), said Katti. He added that two others, namely Dushant Kumar Singh and Shivanand Singh, who are involved in the racket, are at large. It was following a search of the business premises of National Enterprises an iron and steel dealer at Kolsa Bunder in the Darukhana area of Sewri by Katti and a police team on August 8, that the scam was unearthed.
A check of their tax invoice books of the said firm and a few others, namely Asian Steels and Chanchal Tube Corporation, Siddhivinayak Steels and Suraj Tube Corporation all operated by Pramod Singh and his four associates issued the VAT invoices to various traders across the country without having transacted any business or taken any delivery of goods.
Pramod and his associates issued VAT invoices worth Rs1,000 crore to various firms across the nation to evade VAT worth Rs45.51 crore, said Katti.