UP STF arrests former excise official of Unnao

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LUCKNOW: After a chase of nearly a year, Uttar Pradesh police special task force (STF) managed on Sunday to arrest a former circle excise officer of Unnao who was allegedly involved in tax and excise duty evasion from a Saharanpur distillery.

The arrest was made in connection with his alleged involvement in a nexus of employees, transporters of a Saharanpur distillery, excise distributors as well as excise officials involved in evading taxes and excise duties by fraudulently releasing two trucks of liquor on one invoice and supplying them in the open market to earn extra profits, said STF officials.

A senior STF official said the arrested accused, identified as Ravindra Kishore Chowdhary, was posted as Unnao Sadar Circle Excise officer in March 2021. He said the STF had exposed the nexus after the arrest of eight people on March 3, 2021, and so far, 16 people have been arrested in this connection.

He said the nexus managed to evade taxes and excise duty worth around 32 lakh on one truck. And through this calculation, the accused managed to roughly evade 6 to 8 crore every month as over 20 trucks were released fraudulently every month. He said the accused roughly managed to evade around 90 crore in taxes and excise duty in a year. The STF official said the records scanned are for one year, but the accused had been doing this for many years.

Explaining the modus operandi, the official said the distillery got two days to deliver liquor for districts at a short distance from its location and four days of the delivery time to faraway districts. He said the distillery employees released two trucks of liquor on one invoice for short distances in the span of two days, and for long-distance too, they used to release two trucks within the delivery time of four days.

“As the excise officials were also involved in the entire thing, these things went unchecked, and the liquor from the state-run distillery was supplied to the open market illegally to earn huge profits that were shared at different levels,” he emphasised.


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