Cracking whip on tax evaders, Ludhiana police department have busted a multi-crore rupees bogus billing scam with the arrest of three persons, including owners of two Shimlapuri-based private companies and a techie.
Deputy commissioner of police Dhruman Nimbale said, “The accused have been identified as Manoj, owner of Pinky Garments Shimlapuri; Manish, owner of Jai Shree Ram Knitwear, who prepared fake bills; and Prince, a techie who hacked passwords and Tax Identification Number (TIN) numbers of other firms for duping the excise department of crores of rupees.”
“The three hacked passwords of other firms with the help of a techie, forged bills and sought value-added tax (VAT) return of more than Rs 10 crore from the excise department. The accused were running two fake companies (unregistered),” Nimbale said.
Police said they were also investigating whether any insider of the excise department was involved as such a scam could not be executed without any insider’s involvement.
The accused have been booked under Section 66-C (Punishment for identity theft, fraudulently use password or any other unique identification feature of any other person or firm) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, and Sections 65 (tampering with computer source documents), 379 (theft), 419 (cheating by impersonation) and 420 (cheating inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“We are still in the process of investigation and have detained all three accused. Considering the volume of the scam, there are firm chances of bigger names from business circles in Ludhiana cropping up later,” said a police official.
Division Number 8 station house officer (SHO) Gaurav Toora said, “After getting a tip-off, policed started investigation in the case around 25 days ago. We got some clues on April 16 and pursued the matter seriously. First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged in the case and accused have been detained at Shimlapuri police station. It was a clear-cut case of VAT evasion where the accused had forged bills and sought VAT return to the tune of more than Rs 10 crore for the past many years. The investigation is still on and there are possibilities of involvement of chartered accountants in the case.”
Deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) LK Jain said, “This particular case is not in my knowledge. But, there are a number of firms that
often indulge in bogus billing scams. We keep a check on such firms through our assistant excise and taxation commissioners of the respective areas. I will check with the area official concerned and take necessary action against the party involved.”