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Pakistani national held, illicit ‘pan masala’ seized at Indore

DGGI unearths unaccounted stock valued at about ₹2.25 crore

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has arrested a Pakistani national and seized cash, illicit “pan masala” and tobacco worth ₹2.95 crore at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The accused had been staying in India on a long-term visa.

Sale of these products is banned across the country since March 25, as part of the restrictions imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency’s Bhopal division has detected Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion of ₹18.80 crore through clandestine supply and sale of “pan masala” and “tobacco” products worth ₹40 crore in the past one year. Three immovable properties and five bank accounts of the accused have been provisionally attached.

“The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Court in Indore has remanded him in 14 days of judicial custody up to June 17. The 33-year-old accused is a Pakistani passport holder from Jacobabad in Sindh,” said an official.

Simultaneous searches

Acting on a tip-off about the tax evasion, the DGGI had conducted simultaneous searches at five godowns operated by the accused and his residence on May 30-31.

“Unaccounted stock of ‘pan masala’ and tobacco having total estimated value of about ₹2.25 crore was seized. The consignments were meant for distribution in various districts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other neighbouring States. Unaccounted cash of ₹66.47 lakh was also seized from the residential premises,” the official said.

The market information suggests that these banned goods were being sold and consumed in some places within Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra during the lockdown period, at four to five times their usual market rates, according to the agency.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 10:33:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistani-national-held-illicit-pan-masala-seized-at-indore/article31750874.ece

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