Another excise official held in tax evasion case - ECAS Punjab

Another excise official held in tax evasion case

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22

Senior officials, including an Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC), are under the lens in the multi-crore GST evasion racket unearthed by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Friday.

The bureau has arrested another Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), Dinesh Gaud. Six arrests were made during statewide raids on Friday. The bureau has booked 12 persons, including taxmen, for corruption, cheating, forging documents and under other sections.

As per the FIRs, an AETC took Rs 75,000 per month from one client while officials ranging from inspectors to excise officers took Rs 35,000 to Rs 2 lakh per month from businessmen to provide tax-free passage to their goods. The bribe amount had to be paid by 25th of every month otherwise trucks were impounded.

Vigilance officials said the role of the AETC was under investigation. The FIR stated that as per the recorded phone conversation of the accused, it was mentioned that the AETC took bribe through another employee.

The alleged racket ran with the help of staff of transporters, especially Vijay Kumar of Ludhiana, who used different mobile phones to arrange payment for the bribe and finalised the time and route of trucks carrying goods sans tax. Such trucks were labelled as passers.

On Friday, the Vigilance had in statewide raids nabbed six persons, including four Excise and Taxation Officers — Varun Nagpal, Satpal Multani, Kalicharan and Japsimran Singh. The fifth one is Excise Inspector Ram Kumar. The sixth person is Shiv Kumar, an employee with a transport company.

As per the FIRs, "In some cases, cess in accordance with a low GST slab for the product transported was levied. In others, officials conspired with businessmen to record movement of a commodity with lower tax value than the actual goods supplied.

The accused also provided accurate information on safe escape routes to transporters so that they don't have to pay tax at the designated counters and provided immunity from checking on the way also.

Vigilance Bureau Chief Director-cum-ADGP BK Uppal said those booked in first FIR included DETC Simran Brar, Fazilka ETO Ved Prakash Jakhar, Faridkot ETO Satpal Multani, Chandigarh mobile wing ETO at Shambhu Kali Charan, Muktsar ETO Varun Nagpal, Fazilka ETO Ravinandan, Moga ETO Piyara Singh and Vijay Kumar Prashar, resident of Adarsh Colony, Khanna.

In the second case, Amritsar (now Patiala) ETO Sushil Kumar, Amritsar ETO Dinesh Gaud, Amritsar ETO Japsimran Singh, Amritsar mobile wing ETO Lakhbeer Singh, Inspector Ram Kumar, Somnath transporter of Phagwara, Shiv Kumar Munshi and Pawan Kumar were involved.

Seven held so far

  • Six taxmen and an employee of a transporter have been arrested in connection with the GST evasion racket
  • Tax officials had been "taking up to Rs2 lakh per month from transporters to provide cess-free passage to trucks"
  • An Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner is said to have been taking bribe through another employee

from The Tribune

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