In Karachi, the FBR’s Inland Revenue (IR) Intelligence and Investigation Directorate has been hard at work. They recently apprehended an inter-provincial gang engaged in the creation of phoney or “flying” sales tax bills. The operations of this gang have resulted in a huge income loss of Rs. 11.6 billion to the national exchequer.
The first culprit in a criminal case lodged in the Court of Special Judge Customs & Taxation in Karachi was caught by the IR Intelligence team in Faisalabad. This guy was discovered submitting bogus sales tax returns on behalf of different phoney companies from the comfort of his own home.
The second suspect FBR, who was linked to the scheme, was apprehended at the PRAL Call Centre in Islamabad. This individual was employed as a facilitation officer at PRAL when it was revealed that he was supplying user IDs and passwords of inactive sales tax registered units to agents of the phoney invoice mafia.
A Significant Discover
Something crucial was discovered during the enquiry. When the intelligence team questioned the PRAL officer, they discovered Rs. 1,600 million in fraudulent production tax data on his computer. This information was meant to be utilised by someone using the FBR’s e-filing system (IRIS).
Following this disclosure, another operative was apprehended near Islamabad. In Faisalabad, the fourth accused was captured. Interestingly, this guy formerly worked at PRAL Faisalabad but was let out in 2014. He then became an advocate and is now a member of the Faisalabad District Bar.
Custody by the Court
After being probed and detained in the custody of the IR-Intelligence team, the four suspects are now in judicial custody at Karachi’s Central Prison.
This case is notable since it is the first time that the Directorate of I&I-IR, Karachi, has destroyed an entire gang engaging in such operations. It serves as a reminder that careful investigative work is critical in ensuring a country’s financial integrity.