GST.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Jan 24 : GST authorities have arrested as many as 258 persons, including eight chartered accountants (CAs), in the nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds since November 2020, sources said.

Sources in the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) said that the 8th CA was arrested on Saturday along with his four business accomplices in Jaipur for operating 25 fake firms to fraudulently avail and pass on ITC through bogus invoices without actual supplies of goods and services.

CAs arrested in the multi-layered fake GST invoice frauds through multiple bogus firms include B.S. Gupta of Jaipur, Daulat S. Mehta and Chandra Prakash Pandey of Mumbai, Lalit Prajapati of Ahmedabad, S. Krishnakumar of Chennai, Nitin Jain of Delhi, B. Srinvasa Rao of Hyderabad and Ankur Garg of Ludhiana.

They all were operating multiple non-existent firms and fake entities to dupe the exchequer with fraudulent ITC utilisation in connivance with fraudsters and fly-by-night operators, according to sources.

People in the know said that out of the 258 arrested so far, at least two persons have been booked under COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) also.

The drive by GST intelligence and CGST authorities is underway with more than 2,500 case booked against 8,000 fake GSTIN entities as of now.

Authorities have so far recovered more than Rs 820 crore from these fraudsters.

Sources said that the chartered accountants' regulatory body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been informed about these arrests and have been asked to take appropriate actions as per their rules.

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