The Delhi government has detected swindling of tax to the tune of Rs 230 crore by mobile phone dealers who imported handsets from China and sold them illegally.
Officials in the tax department said apart from evasion of tax, the dealers were found selling Chinese mobile phones not having the mandatory International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, which could pose a major security threat.
“We have detected evasion of Rs 230 crore by 59 mobile phone dealers in the city. These dealers were selling the handsets without payment of value added tax (VAT). We have now issued notices to them,” an official said.
The tax department had conducted a series of raids on the mobile phone dealers in Karol Bagh and Gaffar market after getting inputs from the customs department. Most of the dealers were found selling Chinese made handsets.
“It is a huge racket. Besides evasion of tax, it is a matter of security risk as phones not having IMEI numbers cannot be tracked by security agencies. These phones may be used by terrorists to even set off bombs,” the official said.
The 15-digit IMEI number helps the security agencies to track the phones. The tax department has already sealed premises of some of the dealers who were operating without the mandatory permission.
According to Indian Cellular Association, 30% of the total mobile phone market in the city has been captured by the traders who sell the imported products, mostly sourced from China.