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Mumbai police arrest lottery centre owner, race course bookies over tax evasion



The Mumbai police raided a Carter Road-based lottery centre yesterday and arrested its owner, Rajesh Jaiswal, for allegedly evading Goods and Services Tax (GST) on lottery tickets by issuing hand-written notes instead of printed receipts.

According to the Mumbai police, Jaiswal would sell the hand written tickets to customers and tell the results over phone, thereby conducting the transaction in cash without paying any tax. A case has been registered by the police under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998 and Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The crime branch of the Mumbai police had also conducted a raid on seven different online lottery parlours in Mumbai earlier this year for GST evasion and booked the accused for cheating, forgery and selling illegal/unauthorised lottery tickets.

Last week, a similar raid was conducted by the police on bookmakers operating at the Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai for allegedly accepting bets on horse-racing in cash, without paying any license fee or tax to the government. A total of 120 persons were detained by the police and cash worth Rs. 1.41 crores was seized from the licensed betting stalls within the race course.

A case of cheating under the Indian Penal Code, running a common gaming house under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act and for contravening license conditions under the Bombay Race Course Licensing Act, 1912 was registered.

Out of the 120 persons detained by the cops, 18 were formally arrested and sent to a 2-day police custody. A case was also registered against the Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. or RWITC, i.e. the Mumbai turf club, which has been granted a license by the state government to operate a race course and accept bets on horse racing within the club.

It is perhaps unprecedented that the police, instead of the GST department, is taking action against alleged tax evaders and booking them for cheating and illegal gambling, instead of action being taken under the Goods and Services Tax law.