The state goods and services tax (SGST) department unearthed yet another fake billing scam, worth Rs 4,120 crore and involving 74 bogus firms. These firms – all based in Surat and Ahmedabad – were involved in evading taxes to the tune of Rs 137 crore by obtaining input tax credit illicitly.
The scam came to the fore following an aggressive spot verification drive conducted by the department officials last week in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Anand and Bhavnagar. Out of the nearly 100 firms that were raided, 61 from Surat and 13 from Ahmedabad were found to be bogus entities.
During the course of investigation, SGST officials found a new modus operandi of tampering with Aadhaar cards and using non-licenced mobile apps to create fake documents.
Bogus loan services companies are created on Facebook’s marketplace facility to collect documents of people under the pretext of offering them loans. These documents are in turn used to obtain bogus GST registrations.
Meanwhile, in another case, an Aadhaar centre in Palitana was raided by SGST officials from where mobiles and laptops were seized.
When quizzed, the Aadhaar holders in Palitana pleaded ignorance about the PAN numbers obtained in their names. Further, the probe revealed that mobile numbers linked to the Aadhar cards had been changed.
Using these Aadhaar cards, the PAN number and GST registrations were obtained. The probe revealed that residents were lured using government schemes and called to this Aadhaar centre for verification of thumb impressions.
A total of 2,700 fake GST registrations were found to have been obtained across India.