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Three held in Aadhaar-GST multi-crore bogus billing scam in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar

Parts of the multi-crore bogus billing scam have begun unfolding. Three persons were arrested by Bhavnagar Police on Tuesday, for conning unsuspecting Aadhaar card holders to go to Aadhaar centres where the mobile number linked to their Aadhaar identity would be changed.

The three persons arrested are Sajid alias Sajju, Kunal Rathod and Vimal Makwana. “People were called to the Aadhaar centre at the Bank of Baroda branch near Virani Circle in Bhavnagar and to the Common Services Centre near Chavdi Road in Bhavnagar. After their Aadhaar data was tampered with, their IDs were used to obtain bogus GST registrations,” the FIR states.

Sources in the SGST said the trio are part of a larger syndicate involved in fake billing. After searches at 25 Aadhaar facilitation centres last week, a total of 2,725 Aadhaar cards were found to have been tampered with, with their linked mobile numbers modified.

According to the FIR filed against the three, “Makwana would promise poor people new mobile numbers saying they could get the benefits of government schemes. He would pay Rs 700 to each person who got their mobile number modified.”

The new mobile numbers entered were operated by the scamsters and the Aadhaar cards would then be used to obtain GST registrations.

Investigators said Sajid would pay Rathod for every compromised Aadhaar card they got. Makwana was in turn given Rs 1,000 per Aadhaar cardholder he could get and would keep Rs 300 as his commission. Rs 700 was paid to the Aadhaar card holders, the FIR states. SGST officials are still computing the extent of the evasion and bogus billing in this case.

In the past, four persons were arrested from Palitana in Bhavnagar district for modifying Aadhaar card information of people and using them to obtain GST registrations fraudulently.

Police and SGST officials are identifying other links in the case to nab the kingpin.


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