Next Level Crime! Tax invaders rig Punjab GST department vehicles with GPS trackers
The GST department has ultimately begun an investigation into the matter.Author : Avneet Kaur
In shocking news from Punjab, as many as nine GPS trackers
were found fitted in four cars of the mobile wing of the state Goods and
Services Tax (SGST) department. The department officials have been tight-lipped
about the matter and the cybercrime unit is alerted.
A complaint has been filed with the police department's cybercrime unit, alleging that the trackers were installed by tax evaders to keep tabs on department officials' movements. The department has enlisted the help of the cybercrime unit to gather information on GPS trackers that use SIM cards.
According to reports, department officials' roles are also being scrutinised because some of the trackers were installed by drilling into the vehicles, while others were installed beneath the car using magnets.
In one car, four trackers were installed, while in the other, three were installed. A single tracker was installed in the other two.
Sources in the GST Dept confirmed the recovery of trackers. They saud this incident came to our knowledge during routine monitoring at the mobile wing.
They said they have already filed a complaint with the Ludhiana police's cyber cell to track down people whose names are on the mobile Sim cards found inside GPS devices. Once this information is obtained, action will be taken, including the filing of a formal complaint against the perpetrators, they added.
Two GPS trackers were discovered in Jalandhar mobile wing
vehicles and one in a Patiala mobile wing vehicle during the routine servicing
of vehicles in September and November, respectively.
The three incidents of recovery of GPS trackers from tax department vehicles are believed to be the work of tax evaders, particularly members of organised gangs comprised of transporters and other individuals involved in facilitating the illegal movement of goods without paying tax.
They may have done so to keep track of officers and their vehicles in order to figure out where officials had set up checkpoints or planned raids so that passers could take different routes or choose a time when the mobile wing teams were away from their office and they could move around freely.
When recent checks failed to produce any results, it reportedly raised suspicions among department officials, following which the trackers were found. In the last two months, as many as 12 GPS trackers have been discovered from three wings - Jalandhar, Patiala and now Ludhiana.
The department has ultimately begun an investigation into the matter.