"The joint operation of the two premier intelligence agencies of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), was a first of its kind in the history of CBIC which involved about 1200 officers from both the agencies," the release added.
According to the data analysed by the two agencies, it was revealed that some business houses were exporting goods out of India on payment of tax (IGST), being done almost entirely out of the Input Tax Credit (ITC) availed on the basis of ineligible or fake supplies.
The exporters were then claiming a refund of the IGST payment.
"Based on the data provided by the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM), an analysis was conducted wherein certain 'red flag' indicator filters were applied to Customs' export data in conjunction with the corresponding GST data of the exporters. It was also noticed that there was no or negligible payment of tax through cash by the exporters as well as their suppliers. In a few cases, even the tax paid through ITC was more than the ITC availed by these firms. On the basis of this intelligence, massive searches were conducted," the release read.
The operation revealed that many of the business entities around the country did not exist or were functioning on fictitious addresses.
"The preliminary examination of the records resumed during the course of the joint operation along with the statements recorded of various persons indicated that an Input Tax Credit of more than Rs 470 crore (invoice value of approximately Rs 3500 crore) is bogus or fake which has been further utilized by the exporters for effecting exports on payment of IGST through ITC and claiming consequential cash refund of the same. Besides, an IGST refund amount of around Rs 450 crore is under examination," the released added.
Further, a few export consignments of these foreign exporters were intercepted at Vadodara Rail Container Terminal, Mundra port and Nhava Sheva port for examination in order to ascertain the amount of misdeclaration.
Further investigation in the matter is underway.