In a shocker, the Maharashtra GST Department raided and detected cash, silver bars worth Rs 10 crore, plus a business turnover of a staggering Rs 1,764 crore from an office measuring just 35 square feet — smaller than a home toilet.
Following a tip-off, the Department on April 16 raided the premises of south Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar and other locations belonging to one Chamunda Bullion. Most of these places, including the tiny one raided, were not disclosed as place of business in the registration with the State GST Department.
While searching one such mystery location on April 20, GST sleuths stumbled across cash Rs 9.78-crore and 19 kg of silver bricks worth Rs 13 lakh, and the entire booty was hidden inside the walls and floor of the tiny premises.
A detailed analysis of the accounts using comprehensive analytic tools of the State GST made more stunning revelations of Chamunda Bullion.
The GST team found that the company’s gross turnover suddenly shot up from Rs 22.83 lakh in 2019-2020, to Rs 652 crore the next year (2020-2021), and upto an astronomical Rs 1,764 crore the following (2021-2022) year.
When questioned, the owners and family members of the premises denied knowledge or ownership of the treasure trove sniffed out by the GST teams.
Accordingly, the State GST has sealed the premises and informed the Income Tax Department to make further investigations. After it was detected, the cash counting that night took over six hours till the next morning, and further procedures are underway.
The entire sensational operation was executed under the supervision of Joint Commissioner of State Tax Rahul Dwivedi (IAS) and Deputy Commissioner Vinod Desai of Investigation-B.
Meanwhile, the owner of the premises (tax-payer) moved to the Mumbai Sessions Court seeking anticipatory bail to avoid imminent arrest from the State GST Department.
The State GST said it will delve into the suppression of GST while the IT will now probe the source of the unexplained cash and valuables recovered from the small office and related aspects.
This year, the GST Department has made five major arrests, passing a strong message to defaulters and tax evaders that they will not be spared if they flout the laws.