Son of senior TDP leader Pulla Rao arrested on charges of cheating, GST evasion

Further, those 12 shell companies' GST registrations were rescinded in 2021, he said.

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh police arrested the former director of a private company, son of a senior TDP leader, for allegedly defrauding the state government of crores of rupees by using shell companies, fake invoices and other illegal methods, a top police official said.

Machavaram Police under the Vijayawada Police Commissionerate arrested P Sarath, former director of Avexa, on February 29 for allegedly making gains from the state government through contracts, without actually delivering any goods or services, said the official.

Sarath is the son of senior Telugu Desam Party leader and former Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao, and his arrest has assumed political overtones in the southern state.

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“Former director of Avexa company P Sarath has been arrested on February 29 for playing a key role and pocketing the highest amount through these illegal transactions and was presented in a court,” Vijayawada police Commissioner Kanthi Ratan Tata said in a press release.

He said the court sent Sarath to judicial remand.

On February 25, the Andhra Pradesh State Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (APSDRI) lodged a complaint with Machavaram Police that Avexa Corporation Pvt Ltd had resorted to fraudulent transactions and wrongfully pocketed government payments.

Based on the complaint, police registered a case under IPC Sections 420, 409, 467, 471 (A) and 120 B read with 34.

According to APSDRI’s complaint, the police Commissioner noted that Avexa produced forged invoices for GST payments and received input tax credit (ITC), adding that an earlier investigation by the Director General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) had also unearthed alleged fake transactions worth Rs 49 crore to claim Rs 8 crore input tax credit.

He said the company used 12 shell companies to make this input tax credit claim for siphoning off funds from the government, prompting DGGI to serve a show-cause notice proposing a penalty of Rs 16 crore.

Further, those 12 shell companies’ GST registrations were rescinded in 2021, he said.

Among other alleged irregularities committed by the current and former directors of Avexa, Tata said that they had obtained a work order from BSR Infratech India Pvt Ltd but did not execute any work and went ahead to illegally claim Rs 2 crore input tax credit.

He noted that Avexa had created a false impression that it had carried out works worth Rs 26 crore to claim input tax credit.

The Vijayawada police Commissioner observed that Avexa had used shell companies such as Khwahish Marketing, Noida Ispat India, Prasant Ind Corp, Goldphoenix Iron and Steels and others to generate fictitious transactions and bills for claiming input tax credit fraudulently and benefiting monetarily from the government.

Meanwhile, the arrest of Sarath assumed political overtones in Andhra Pradesh as TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday wrote a letter to Governor S Abdul Nazeer alleging that the YSRCP government is using a state enforcement agency, APSDRI, to target his party’s leaders for weakening them economically and politically.

The opposition leader alleged that the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government has specially formed APSDRI to target TDP leaders.

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