GST Scam: 1500 Aadhaar cards used in Gujarat to generate bogus GST numbers illegally
The state’s GST administration has discovered a new scheme in which 1,500 Aadhar cards were fraudulently utilised to create fake GST registration numbers over the course of the previous eight months.
On February 7, the department conducted on-the-spot checks of suspected businesses, including those in Surat, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, and Rajkot. An android mobile application was used to replicate documents like Aadhaar and PAN cards, it was discovered during operations performed over 75 firms in Surat.
An Aadhar card user in Surat with a Palitana residential address was unaware of the GST registration and PAN number that had been obtained in their name by changing the Aadhaar-linked cellphone number.
The GST department conducted search operations in Palitana and seized mobile phones, laptops, and other digital devices from Aadhaar centres. “Many residents said that in the name of government assistance, they were taken to Aadhaar centres at Palitana and their thumb impressions were taken,” the department said.
According to the department, “on verifying these seized devices, it was determined that more than 1,500 Aadhaar cards had their mobile numbers changed in the last eight months,” adding that 470 GST registrations obtained through this illicit technique were also discovered. Among them, Gujarat accounted for 118 registrations, with the remainder registrations coming from other states.
“Thus, a new form of modus operandi to get phoney GST numbers has come to the attention of the department,” it continued.
More than 2,700 GST registrations were gained across India, according to further verification of 470 registrations obtained from updated mobile numbers in Aadhar cards. “A large number of these GST registrations are probably fraudulent. A thorough investigation is being conducted, the statement continued. According to officials, the agency has already reported this incident at Palitana.
The verification of 75 Surat-based companies found that 61 of them were engaged in phoney billing practises. 12 out of the 24 verified firms in Ahmedabad were found to be operating illegally.
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