CA, woman among 12 arrested for fake GST frauds in a day

CA, woman among 12 arrested for fake GST frauds in a day

New Delhi: Cracking a whip against fraudsters in fake GST invoice frauds since mid-November, 2020, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and CGST Commissionerates have arrested 12 persons, including a Chartered Accountant and a lady, in a single day. The arrested CA has been identified as Abhishek Singhal, who was allegedly involved in running fake firms to issue fraudulent invoices.

According to Finance Ministry sources, Singhal is the 10th CA arrested so far who have been involved in bogus firms and/or issuance of fake invoices to fraudulently avail and pass on input tax credit (ITC) without actual supplies of goods/services.

Sources said that out of the 329 persons arrested so far, at least four persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) while the GST intelligence and CGST authorities have registered more than 3,200 cases against 9,600 fake GSTIN entities as of now.

Also, the authorities have recovered more than Rs 1,000 crore from these fraudsters, the sources added.

According to sources, the GST authorities have been using deep data analytics, integrated data-sharing and AI & ML tools along with BIFA to unearth the ITC utilisation frauds via fake invoicing and bogus firms.

Notably, the nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds have yielded record GST collections for over the last three months and have fetched record collections of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in December, 2020 and Rs 1.20 lakh crore in January, 2021. Sources expect similar higher collection trend to continue in the month of February 2021 as well.

"Singhal was involved in three fake firms which were generating goods-less invoices of miscellaneous commodities and he did not co-operate with authorities during investigations, following which a chargesheet was filed against him in the Economic Offence Court where he surrendered later and was sent to judicial custody," the sources said.

According to the sources, out of the 329 arrests so far there are 131 masterminds, 113 proprietors, 46 director/managing directors, 17 partners, five CEOs/CFOs/CMDs, 10 CA, four accountants and one each of company secretary, broker, and GST practitioner.

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