The Goods and Services Tax (GST) authorities have uncovered a tax evasion of Rs 30,000 crore allegedly carried out using as many as 18,000 stolen Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Aadhaar cards, The Economic Times (ET) reported on Wednesday.
The beneficiaries of several government schemes, including PM Kisan, were using the stolen identities to operate 4,000 shell companies and 16,000 fake GST registrations, the report added.
The GST authorities have also asked the Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to initiate separate actions against the entities involved in the fraud.
"It was a huge organised racket operating in 16 states creating shell companies and fake GST registration by stealing data from PM Kisan, rural employment scheme and other schemes," a senior official was quoted as saying in the report.
The companies used to make fake e-way bills and then sell them to different companies to claim input tax credits. Several teams of scammers worked in these states to create and operate these shell companies and generate fake bills.
The ET report also said that in some cases, some people were made directors of these shell companies without their knowledge. They came to know about it only when they were sent notices for tax evasion.
Earlier, Gujarat state GST officials had detected a fake invoice racket using stolen IDs in Bhavnagar and Surat. After that, a nationwide drive was launched on May 16. Similar operations were subsequently conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana.