GST evasion worth lakhs detected in crackdown against ‘Peti’ mafia

Ludhiana: In a major crackdown on the ‘Peti’ mafia at the railway station, the investigation wing of excise and taxation department Punjab on Thursday seized 245 cartons of incoming goods, offloaded from three trains, which were being transported into Ludhiana without paying taxes.

In the process, the department detected tax evasion worth lakhs, claiming it to be one of the biggest so far after the implementation of GST.

The cartons seized by the department had electronic goods, mobile accessories and garments. According to officials, the goods have been handed over to railway authorities on supardari as per the GST provisions and owners of the goods have been given the last chance to present valid tax invoice to the excise and taxation department.

Coincidentally the action which was conducted under instructions of joint director of investigation wing H P S Ghotra comes on the day when all the information collection centres (ICC) barriers of the state have been permanently done away with.

Speaking to TOI about the entire operation, Ghotra said, “This is a major success for our department. The entire team was working round the clock since yesterday to confiscate the goods. We have videographed all the 245 cartons and handed them over to the railways under supardari. An opportunity under Section 129 of Punjab GST and CGST and Section 20 of IGST is being given to the owners of the goods to present valid bills if tax has been paid on any of the cartons.”

Importantly, expecting the presence of taxation officials on the platform, the peti mafia did not offload some cartons at Ludhiana station thinking that they would do the same them at Jalandhar station and bring them back to Ludhiana. But seeing a team of officials which was already present on Jalandhar station, the tax evaders did not offload goods there as well and as a result the cartons reached Jammu railway station. The investigation wing has already contacted the authorities at Jammu and requested them to seize the goods.

Other officials who were part of this operation included assistant excise and taxation commissioners (AETC) of mobile wing Ludhiana and Jalandhar Magnesh Sethi and B S Bhatti, excise and taxation officers Major Manmohan Singh, Inderjit Nagpal, Davinder Pannu, Pawan Kumar and Sandeep Sharma.

‘Peti’ mafia still present at station

Peti mafia is an organised gang active at Ludhiana railway station and other major stations of Punjab which facilitates the movement of goods to and fro from the railway stations without paying taxes to the government.