New Scam in Gujarat: The state GST department has unearthed a scam in Gujarat with a new modus operandi where 1,500 Aadhaar cards were illegally used in the past eight months to generate bogus GST registration numbers.
To keep a check on bogus billing, the department carried out spot verification of suspected firms, including those in Surat, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Anand and Rajkot, on February 7. During operations conducted over 75 firms in Surat, it was found that duplicate documents such as Aadhaar and PAN cards were created using an android mobile application.
In Surat, an Aadhaar card holder with residential address in Palitana had no knowledge about the GST registration and PAN number obtained in their name by amending the mobile number linked to Aadhaar.
“Many residents said that in the name of government assistance, they were taken to Aadhaar centres at Palitana and their thumb impressions were taken,” stated the GST department, which conducted search operations in Palitana and seized mobiles, laptops and other digital devices from Aadhaar centres.
“On checking these seized devices, it was found that in the past eight months, more than 1,500 Aadhaar cards have had their mobile numbers amended,” the department stated adding that 470 GST registrations obtained through this illegal process were found. Of these, 118 registrations were from Gujarat, while the remaining were from other states.
“Thus a new kind of modus operandi has come to the attention of the department to obtain bogus GST numbers,” it added.
Further verification of 470 registrations obtained from modified mobile numbers in Aadhaar card revealed that more than 2,700 GST registrations were obtained across India. “Many of these GST registrations are likely to be bogus. In-depth verification is in progress,” the statement added. The department has filed an FIR in this regard at Palitana, officials said.
Meanwhile, the verification of 75 Surat firms revealed that 61 were involved in bogus billing activity. in Ahmedabad, of the 24 firms verified, 12 were found to be involved in the illegal operation.