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Nationwide racket to evade tax exposed in Mumbai

Mumbai, Jan 18, 2020-

‘The Mumbai Central Commissionerate has exposed a unique modus operandi involving a multi-crore rupees tax evasion racket by transporting high-end jewellery without paying GST, an official said on Saturday.

Following a specific tip-off that certain jewellers from Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata were supplying gold and gold jewellery studded with or without precious stones to certain counterparts in Mumbai, the GST Commissionerate launched an investigation.

According to the probe, the valuable goods were being transported by some courier companies through the airlines and after due verification, the Mumbai Central GST’s Anti-Evasion team raided the premises of Concor Air Ltd., at the Santacruz Air Cargo terminal to seize seven consignments of gold and gold jewellery.

The GST sleuths also detected a unique modus operandi whereby the goods were supplied by the outstation jewellers to various jewellers in Mumbai by using an aggregator as a courier agent, who would pick up the consignment on behalf of the jewelers.

In the declaration to the airlines, the aggregator acted as a consignor as well as consignee to conceal the names of the real suppliers and receivers, said a GST official.

Mumbai Central Commissionerate Commissioner for CGST & Central Excise Rajesh Saran termed it as a “unique modus operandi of transportation of goods by air without paying GST by using an aggregator” which has been exposed for the first time.

The seizure included gold bars, diamond-studded gold jewellery, designer jewellery, precious stones like Solitaire Diamonds, rubies and pearls worth around Rs 26 crore, flouting various CGST laws.

Further investigations revealed that the consignments were mostly transported without proper tax paying documents, or mis-declared or undervalued, and now the GST sleuths are probing the extent of the scam and parties from different cities who may be involved in the racket.  (Agency)

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