A Pakistani national has been arrested in Indore for selling illicit pan masala and tobacco worth crores in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other neighboring states.

The accused, who had a long-term visa, was arrested on Wednesday by the officials of Directorate General of Goods and Services Intelligence (DGGI) in Indore.

The arrest came after the DGGI officers conducted simultaneous search operations at five godowns controlled and operated by the accused as well as his residence in Indore on Saturday and Sunday.

During the search, unaccounted stock of pan masala or tobacco was found in godowns which was kept there for distribution in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other neighbouring states.

During the search, pan masala worth 2.25 crore was seized. Also, unaccounted cash amount of about Rs. 66.47 lakh was seized during the search at residence of the accused.

During the investigation, the accused has confessed that cash seized (rs 66.47 lakh) was from the sale of the illegal pan masala/tobacco supplied without payment of GST, DGGI said.

Based on preliminary investigations by the DGGI, it has been estimated that the accused person and his associates have evaded GST of around Rs 18.80 crore on the goods, valued at about Rs 40 crore, sold illicitly for cash during the period from April 2019 to May 2020, it said.

Considering the huge scale of tax evasion, in order to protect revenue, procedure of provisional attachment of immovable properties and bank accounts of the accused was initiated.

“Under this process three immovable properties and five bank accounts belonging to the accused and his associate were provisionally attached on Wednesday,” a statement said.

The accused was arrested on Wednesday and produced before an Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Court in Indore that has remanded him to 14 days judicial custody up to June 17, it said.

“Investigations by DGGI have also revealed that the arrested person is a Pakistan Passport holder,” the statement said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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