On Friday, two people were arrested for issuing fake Goods and Services Tax (GST) invoices of worth ₹700 Crore to companies to claim input credit. According to the statement issued by the joint commissioner of Central GST Commissionerate, Pune, VN Mangaraju, two people were identified as Amit Ashok Thepde and Vias M Atal, partners of two firms called Reliable Multitrading and Himalaya Tradelinks.
The statement issued by the headquarters, preventive wing of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), Pune, said, “The two firms obtained GST registration and have together issued fake GST invoices of approximately ₹700 Crore with GST component of ₹54 Crore to facilitate bogus input tax credit (ITC) claims and dupe the government exchequer.” The press released also added that the non-existent transport of goods was proven by using bogus lorry receipts (LRs) and GST e-way bills.
As per GST laws, companies can avail input tax credit (ITC) for goods purchased or services rendered by them. It can be availed only against the taxes which are already paid to the government on receipt of goods or services. However, according to the statement, the racket involved in the issuance of fake invoices helped companies claim such credit without doing either of the two.
The press release named two Pune-based firms in this connection which had a valid GST number and registration. However, according to the commissioner, the companies only exist on paper and facilitate forged transactions which are also only on paper. The two accused were arrested under Section 69(1) of the CGST Act, 2017. They have also confessed to having committed the crimes.
The officials said some ‘incriminating’ documents were found during the searches carried out at the premises of the companies. They also added that the GST commissionerate officials are now investigating the companies which were doing business with the two firms.