Mill owner, others arrested in tax theft probe

Published: March 20, 2019
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ISLAMABAD: Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives, the institutions under the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have started arresting tax evaders. The Regional Tax Office (RTO) Faisalabad has arrested seven people involved in fake transactions worth over Rs1.5 billion.

The special court of customs excise and taxation has sent two of the accused on remand while the remaining have been sent on judicial remand, against which the RTO has filed a writ petition in high court.

It has also initiated proceedings against those involved in tax theft, including unregistered entities involved in business with M/s Shaheer Textiles. So far, it has recovered Rs20 million, while other companies have also started contacting the RTO.

It said M/s Shaheen Textiles made fake transactions of Rs1.52 billion, on which the tax with penalty sums up to Rs212,130,000. Apart from this, the department said default surcharge would also be imposed.

The FBR says it has launched a country-wide crackdown against those involved in tax theft and evasion, and the arrests were part of it.

According to insiders, the RTO Faisalabad reported the suspicious transactions and activities to the headquarters and informed them of the high quantum of the amount. Investigation Officer Muhammad Zeeshan took the case, and during the investigation it was revealed that the said company was engaged in business with 111 companies and was involved in fake invoices as well.

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After collecting the evidence, the investigation and prosecution cell filed a report (FIR) against those involved in tax theft. It arrested Mehboob Anjum, Ahsan Sarfaraz, Shoaib Ilahi, Muhammad Waseem, Akram Ziai, Yasir Maqbool and Nasir Abbas were arrested, against whom the RTO Faisalabad has filed a writ petition in the high court.

When contacted, RTO Faisalabad Additional Commissioner (Headquarter) Asif Rafique said that the investigation and prosecution cell has took action to arrest the accused and present them before the court on the directives of Faisalabad Commissioner Chaudhry Tariq.

The court sent two of the accused, Muhammad Waseem and Yasir Maqbool, on remand and other five have been sent on judicial remand. However, the department has filed a plea challenging

However he said that against judicial remand of these five accused RTO Faisalabad has registered plea in the court, on the grounds of the textile mills involvement in fake purchases and other activities that contravene the law. The RTO informed the court that the accused were involved in selling to unregistered buyers, while portraying that it was selling the product to registered individuals or entities.

It said a total of 111 companies were engaged in business, of which the majority are unregistered and action is being initiated against them. “Some of these companies have agreed to submit their taxes, with Rs2 million recovered so far.”

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