The Income Tax Department has conducted raids against an importer and trader of laptops, mobile phones and their parts, in which under-invoicing of imports of goods worth Rs 2,000 crore has been detected and cash worth Rs 2.75 crore has been seized.
In a statement issued here today, the department said the search operation was launched on October 10 against the network spread across the National Capital Region, Haryana and West Bengal. During the searches, several incriminating documents, diaries and digital evidence have been found, which suggest that the group is involved in large-scale under-invoicing and misreporting of goods imported through it. A large number of evidences such as suspicious transactions, unaccounted investment in properties, bogus loans etc. have also been collected during the search.
In this alleged trade, goods have been imported in the name of several shell entities with low value and/or misrepresentation of the details of the imported goods to evade customs duties. Upon clearance at ports, such goods have been delivered across India through out-of-book cash transactions. During the search of a container at Kolkata port, it was also found that the bill of lading declared the goods as HDMI cable worth only Rs. The value of imported high value items like etc. is close to Rs.64 crores.
Evidence found and seized during the search shows that such low invoiced goods have been paid to foreign consignees through hawala channels. Almost the entire business is involved in such illegal practices.
While the value of imported goods declared at ports by such shell entities in the last 3 years is around Rs.20 crores, the actual value of goods imported during the period has been estimated to be around Rs.2000 crores, after getting information about massive under-valuations. could be more.
Thus through fraud, this property has been used for acquisition of high value immovable properties, besides crediting of cash proceeds shown in the form of fraudulent rentals and unsecured loans in foreign bank accounts. Unaccounted cash worth Rs 2.75 crore was also seized during the searches. The investigation continues.