DGGI unearthed 4689 fake GSTINs and arrested 141 persons
The 137th Council Session of the World Customs Organisation was held from 10th to 12th December, 2020. In these times of a new normal, technology united Customs administrations of more than 150 countries through digital space and enabled a successful Conference. It’s a matter of satisfaction that India has been included as a member of the WCO Policy Commission from the Asia Pacific region, a membership it will hold for the next two years.
Continuing with International engagements, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It covers exchange of information on pre-arrival of goods moved across the borders. The MoU intends to accelerate the procedure of customs clearance of goods across the borders of both countries.
On the anti-evasion front, DGGI formations and the CGST zones have continued their drive against fake invoice usage. They have, so far in the month-long operation. unearthed 4689 fake GSTINs and arrested 141 persons and booked cases involving wrongly availed credit of Rs.13447.95 crore. This includes a huge case booked by Surat Commissionerate. Using data mining techniques. the officers, in a single case, narrowed down upon 206 fake entities spread over 10 states who had issued fake invoices to the tune of Rs. 1101 crore thereby passing on ineligible credit of Rs. 154 crore. One person has been arrested. Congratulations to the officers of Vadodara zone. all other zones and DGGI for their sustained efforts.
The menace of fake invoicing has to be fought on all fronts. Weeding out dummy registrants and checking their entry into the system is as important as unearthing tax frauds and preventing fraudsters from gaming the system. Honest taxpayers can do better business without competition from fake firms. The Board in this regard held a VC with zonal Chiefs. It took stock of the results achieved by each zone in cancellations of registrations of GSTINs who were long time non-filers of GST Return. Similarly, a modified procedure of GST Registration has been in place since August. 2020. It was reemphasized that applicants for GST registrations. especially those who do not choose the
Aadhaar option for registration, should be subject to scrutiny. This timely verification before registration is granted would check approvals being given by default. It would act as a deterrent against fraudsters. All officers and staff need to attend to this area of work on a priority basis.
The DRI units at Mumbai and Hyderabad raided a Mephedrone manufacturing factory in Hyderabad on 10th December 2020. This resulted in the seizure of approximately 5 Kgs of Mephedrone in crystalline form along with large quantities of raw material. Based on information shared by DRI Ludhiana, the officers of Dimapur Regional Unit under DRI Guwahati intercepted a truck along the Imphal – Dimapur highway resulting in the detection of packages containing compressed Ganja weighing 1549.45 kgs, secreted in a false cavity.
In an operation led by DRI Chennai Zonal Unit with the support of Coast Guard, a boat with five persons on board was intercepted at about one nautical mile off shore. About 9 Kgs of smuggled gold have been seized which was found concealed in the fishing boat. Five persons have been arrested in this case. Congratulations to the officers of DRI in busting the Drug racket and preventing smuggling activities.
The WCO theme for the year 2020 is ‘Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet’. In fostering sustainable development, there is no doubt that water is the elixir of life. I am informed that the Chennai Customs Audit Commissionerate has completed a lake restoration project initiated in 2018-19 under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Despite financial constraints, disruptions caused by Covid and other procedural hardships, proper liaising with the Corporation and civil society by the Commissionerate saw the project being completed recently. I congratulate Ms. N. Padmasri, Commissioner, and her team of officers for their efforts and for the demonstration of social responsibility for a worthy cause.
Being proximate to the middle of the month, the GST return filing schedule is close at hand. We need to nudge all taxpayers to pay their taxes and file their returns on time. Starting this work early would give us a head start and should fructify in higher tax collection by the end of the month.
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110 001