While undeclared cash worth about Rs 194 crore and 23 kg of gold and other valuables have been seized from the premises of Piyush Jain of Kanpur, the GST team that was part of the search operations has failed to produce a document of things it seized from the shady businessman’s premises at the court. According to the Ministry of Finance, this is but the largest unaccounted cash ever recovered or confiscated from any location.
The team found 23 kg of gold and large quantities of perfume-related raw materials from Jain’s premises. The items seized include more than 600 kg of sandalwood oil. Gold and sandalwood oils were recovered from the basement of his house, the market value of which is around Rs 6 crore. But was all this wealth owned by Piyush Jain? Or was he also keeping a cache on somebody else’s behalf, who is too powerful for the agency to work legally against?
Owing to the failure of the GST team to furnish the seizure report, it could not secure the remand of Piyush Jain for questioning.
Apart from the missing document mentioned above, the GST team had seized the money under the Evidence Act and not under GST, as there is no information about the source of money in the GST documents.
The team did not ask Jain what the source of his money was during his interrogation.
There is no information about the people to whom Jain sold perfumes worth Rs 194 crore either. Then, the GST team is silent on who held the black money.
Another question legal experts are asking is why the income tax department (the Central Board of Direct Taxes) was not called to uncover the secret.
The GST officials had started their search operation at the Kanpur factory of the manufacturers of Shikhar brand pan masala and other tobacco products. Thereafter, they searched the office and godowns of M/s Ganpati Road Carriers located in Kanpur and the factories and premises of M/s Odochem Industries.
The cache of pan masala and other tobacco products that were caught filled four trucks. Fake bills were generated on these products without paying GST.
Investigation revealed that the tobacco manufacturer used to make fake bills with the help of the aforementioned transporter. More than 200 fake bills have been seized from him. Pan masala manufacturers, meanwhile, deposited Rs 3.09 crore as tax liability.
The GST team recorded Jain’s statement on 25 December after the recovery of such a huge amount of undeclared cash and other valuables during the search operation. He reportedly confessed that the cash received from the residential premises pertains to the sale of products without payment of GST.
The accused was arrested the next day under Section 132 of the GST Act. On 27 December, the court sent him to judicial custody.