Directors of two companies were arrested on Wednesday by the Goods and Services Tax authorities for alleged tax evasion to the tune of over Rs 7 crore, in what could be the first arrests under the new indirect taxation regime.
CGST Mumbai Central Commissionerate arrested Sanjiv Pravin Mehta, director of Shah Brothers Ispat Pvt Ltd, and Vinaykumar D Arya, director of V N Industries, for availing of "ineligible credit" of Rs 5.20 crore and Rs 2.03 crore, respectively, in separate cases, the Commissionerate said.
The alleged offence committed by Shah Brothers Ispat is non-bailable while that by VN Industries is bailable as the amount is below Rs 5 crore, it added in the statement.
It was possible that similar fraud had taken place in several other companies, it said in the statement.
"They (the companies) were only exchanging invoices for so-called sale and purchase. There was only paper and invoice movement, but no actual sale or purchase of goods," the statement said.
Investigation revealed that these exchanges were being done with a "malafide intention to defraud the exchequer by opening Letters of Credit (LCs) on fake purchase transactions" the statement added.