GST wing busts Rs 106 crore invoice fraud in Odisha, accused held

BHUBANESWAR: The GST Enforcement Wing on Monday arrested one person for his alleged involvement in invoice fraud to the tune of over Rs 100 crore.

Sources said, the accused Smruti Ranjan Sahoo, proprietor of SR Enterprises, had allegedly availed input tax credit (ITC) of Rs 19.04 crore based on the fake invoices of Rs 106 crore

The bogus ITC was availed by raising fraudulent purchase invoices against 14 fake business entities located in Angul, Jajpur, Rourkela, Jagatsinghpur, Bhubaneswar, and Paradip.

The accused had also passed the ITC to the recipients both inside and outside Odisha against the sale of goods purchased fictitiously by defrauding the state exchequer.

Joint Commissioner of CT and GST (Enforcement, Bhubaneswar) Umesh Chandra Tripathy said Sahoo had submitted false information regarding the location of his place of business and also forged the rent agreement.

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“His firm SR Enterprises did neither physically exist nor was it involved in any business. The transactions of purchase and sale showed were only on papers. In order to regularise the paper transaction, the accused routed the amount of purchase and sale through his bank account,” he said.

The scrutiny of Sahoo’s bank account revealed that he has shown receipts of all the payments made towards the fictitious sale of goods, but his payment towards the purchase of goods from non-existing firms was found to be negligible.

The mastermind has admitted to having created dummy firms to issue fake invoices and to pass bogus ITC through them

“The goods weighing in tonne were shown to have been transported by two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars on many occasions. Revenue loss to the State exchequer could have been manifold had the fraud not been detected by the Enforcement Wing,” Tripathy said.

The fraud had initially come to light when the Enforcement Wing conducted a statewide search operation regarding fictitious firms during November and December, last year. It was found that Sahoo along with some other co-accused had collected identity documents like Aadhaar, pan cards, photographs, bank
passbooks from unsuspecting unemployed youths and farmers and misused the documents to create and operate fake firms.

Commissioner CT and GST Sushil Kumar Lohani have appealed to the general public to not share their identity documents, personal, bank, and other details with any unauthorised person.


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