Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of city police's crime branch along with sales tax officials conducted a joint search at seven places on Tuesday in connection with offence registered against a prominent coal merchant. DP Sarda had been booked by Sadar police earlier this month for duping the sales tax department to the tune of several crores.
The case was handed over to the EOW of the crime branch for further investigation. A senior source from crime branch informed that surprise searches were conducted at the residence and offices of the coal merchant to collect evidence in the matter. Sales tax officials accompanied the police team to help collect relevant documents to nail the offender.
"Seven teams were formed for the searches. Every team had a sales tax officials," said a crime branch officer.
City police have charged coal trader Sarda with cheating and forgery under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Maharashtra Value Added Tax Rules 2003. Police department sources said Sarda had registered two private firms with the sales tax department and was using documents and Pan cards of two persons, Ajay Yadav and Ravi Yadav, to evade sales tax.
Sarda also collected sales tax from firms where he sold coal, but did not deposit the amount with the department. The offence was registered after Sarda's deceit was exposed during an internal audit of the department and documents were forwarded to the police by sales tax department officials.