GST officers have arrested 258 persons, including eight chartered accountants, involved in fake invoice frauds.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) begun its nationwide drive against GST invoice frauds in November last year.

Eight chartered accountants are among 258 persons arrested so far in the nationwide drive against fake GST invoice frauds in last two-and-a-half months since mid-November, 2020, sources said.

DGGI sources said that the eighth chartered accountant 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/services.

Sources 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 ongoing with more than 2,500 case booked against 8,000 fake GSTIN entities as of now. Authorities have recovered more than Rs 820 crore from these fraudsters.

Sources said that the chartered accountants’ regulatory body, namely, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India have been informed about these arrests and have been asked to take appropriate actions as per their own rules.

Sources said the CAs who were arrested were allegedly 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.

DoR sources acknowledged that with complete data sharing among GST, customs and income tax, and apt use of Data Analytics, the GST intelligence authorities have been able to pin-pointedly identify those indulged in tax evasion through various means including fake bills and also those availing these bills through layers of intermediaries.