In a statement issued on Monday, the Union Finance Ministry said a large amount of cash and gold were recovered from Jain’s residence and business premises during the searches conducted by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) officials. The search work is still going on at some places.
The ministry said that undisclosed cash worth Rs 177 crore has been recovered from the residence of Pan Masala (gutkha) and perfume trader Piyush Jain in Kanpur. Apart from this, the search team has also got cash worth about Rs 17 crore from his Kannauj locations (residential and factory premises) and the counting of notes is going on.
A team of the Ahmedabad unit of the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) had started searches at Jain’s premises on December 22 on charges of tax evasion. Even after a lapse of so many days, the work of counting the unaccounted cash has not been completed.
Jain was arrested on Sunday by the GST team after recovering undeclared cash and valuables worth crores from him. On Monday, he was produced in the Metropolitan Court of Kanpur Nagar from where he was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
Joint Director (Prosecution) Sanjay Kumar Tripathi told that before being produced in the court, Jain was medically examined and his Covid-19 test was also done, whose report came negative.
23 kg of gold and large quantities of perfume related raw materials have also been found from Jain’s premises. These also include more than 600 kilograms of sandalwood oil. Gold and sandalwood oil were recovered from the basement of his house. Its market value is around Rs.6 crore.
The GST officials had started their search operation from the Kanpur factory of manufacturers of Shikhar brand pan masala and tobacco products. Thereafter, searches were conducted at the office and godown of M/s Ganpati Road Carriers located at Kanpur, besides the factories and premises of M/s Odochem Industries.
During this, four trucks loaded with pan masala and tobacco were caught. 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 transporter. More than 200 fake bills have also been found from him. Manufacturers of Shikhar Pan Masala have deposited Rs 3.09 crore as tax liability.
According to the Finance Ministry, the search operation that started on December 22 at the locations of Odochem Industries in Kanpur has been completed. A total of Rs 177.45 crore undeclared cash has been seized from there to the team. This is the biggest ever cash seizure by CBIC officers.
However, the search started at the company’s locations in Kannauj is yet to be completed and officials are still engaged in the search. From there, the GST officials have received cash worth about Rs 17 crore and the counting of notes is still going on. Apart from this, 23 kg of gold and undeclared raw material used in aromatic products have also been seized. Its cost is around Rs.6 crore.
Jain’s statement was also recorded by the GST officials on Saturday after the recovery of such a huge amount of undeclared cash and other valuables during the search operation. During that time he confessed that the cash recovered from the residential premises pertained to sale of products without payment of GST.
The accused businessman was arrested on Sunday under section 132 of the GST Act. On Monday, the court sent him to judicial custody.