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ISLAMABAD: Inland Revenue Intelligence Directorate Karachi has busted an inter-province gang of fake/ flying sales tax invoice mafia and arrested four suspects involved in the scam, causing revenue loss of Rs11.692 billion to the national exchequer.

In a criminal case registered in recent past in the Court of Special Judge Custom & Taxation Karachi, the IR Intelligence team arrested first accused from Faisalabad on the basis of technical information, who was filing fake sales tax returns of various dummy firms from his house.

The second accused connected with the scam has been arrested from PRAL Call Centre, Islamabad who while working as facilitation officer at PRAL was found involved in providing user ID/ Password of inactive sales tax registered units to the fake invoice mafia agents against financial benefit.

Fake/flying invoices: Taxmen told to conduct probe into cases of big cos

The day when Intelligence team of I&I-IR Karachi picked him for investigation, officers recovered Rs1600 million fake output tax data from accused official PRAL computer which he prepared for supply to a mafia person through FBR e-filing system (IRIS) but could not be executed due to I&I raid.

Later, on his disclosure another mafia agent/ broker, belonging to Karachi who was travelling in nearby vicinity of Murree/ Islamabad was also arrested on a technical tip of with the active assistance of other intelligence agency.

The fourth accused of the episode was taken into custody again from industrial city Faisalabad, who was also an ex-employee of PRAL Faisalabad but dismissed from service in 2014 due to his wrongdoings who later became an advocate and presently member of District Bar, Faisalabad.

Interestingly, all accused were in contact through mobile/ WhatsApp communication and used to share data of fake input/ output tax on excel sheets for demand and supply of fake input in supply chain.

All four accused after investigation and completion of physical remand in I&I custody are presently under judicial custody at the Central Prison Karachi. Sources close to the anti-fraud wing of Inland Revenue FBR have confirmed that this is first time that a whole gang has been smashed by the Directorate of I&I-IR Karachi.

Authorities have reiterated that the time has come to eliminate menace of fake/ flying invoices from country which has caused billions of rupees loss to national exchequer.

However, authorities’ focus has now shifted to other stakeholders/ partners in supply chain of the instant scam who have claimed illegal input tax against bogus invoices. The department has; however, decided to strictly follow guidelines of the apex courts in various judgements regarding recovery of evaded amount of tax and prosecution of beneficiaries/ partners in such supply chain scam.

Arrest of more culprits in the scam is expected soon as the Court has issued arrest warrants of many accused who have reportedly gone underground but authorities as part of ongoing national derive against fraudsters and smugglers are putting all out efforts in collaboration of other law enforcement and intelligence agencies to apprehend the fraudsters.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Rashid Sep 11, 2023 07:36pm
Well done ,it is need of hour to eliminate corruption/dishonesty from all institutes
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