Fake GST fraud: 357 arrested so far, including 12 CAs

New Delhi (IANS) The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and the CGST Commissionerates have so far arrested 357 persons, including 12 chartered accountants, one company secretary and an advocate, in the ongoing nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds since mid-November, 2020.

The arrested persons include fake entities operators and end beneficiaries who connive with these fraudsters running businesses of fake invoices.

Sources in the revenue department informed that in the first week of March, two more CAs were arrested for running fake GST invoice scams through fictitious firms.

The CGST Delhi Zone arrested CA Devender Kumar Goyal along with the mastermind Naresh Dhondhiyal of Vertilink Media Solutions Pvt Ltd, while another CA Vishal Ahuja was arrested by CGST Mumbai Zone for running fake invoice racket.

Sources said that GST intelligence and CGST authorities have booked about 3,500 cases against 10,400 fake GSTIN entities unearthed till now. Out of the 357 persons arrested so far, at least four persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act). The authorities have also recovered around Rs 1,125 crore from these fraudsters.

The GST authorities, according to sources, have been using deep data analytics, overall data-sharing and AI and ML along with BIFA and NETRA tools to unearth fake input tax credit (ITC) availment and utilisation frauds via fake invoicing and bogus firms.

The DGGI and CGST authorities are enabled with appropriate tech-tools in the GST ecosystem to identify layer-by-layer activities of these fake entities and their networking to pinpoint the fraudsters with specific inputs to take targeted actions without any overreach and take investigations against them.

According to the sources, out of the 357 arrests made so far, there are 141 masterminds, 122 proprietors, 49 directors/managing directors, 20 partners, five CEOs/CFOs/CMDs, 12 chartered accountants, four accountants and one each of company secretary, advocate, broker and GST practitioner.

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