Taxmen clamp down on fake excise duty stickers

- Shanker Acharya, Kathmandu

Apr 27, 2018-

The Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Birgunj Office has started recording statement from a member of a racket involved in importing duplicate excise stickers to paste on the caps of alcoholic beverage bottles. According to Gopi Krishna Koirala, chief revenue investigation officer of the IRS Birgunj, the office is recording statement of Sugam Sapkota, employee of Hari Om Trading Private Limited—the Kathmandu-based company involved in import of fake stickers. 

“We have starting recording his statement since Sunday, after Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police brought him to Birgunj,” said Koirala. Similarly, the office has also asked the CIB to arrest Madhu Gupta, proprietor of Roadways Cargo. “Gupta’s firm has said the owner is in India for medical checkup,” said Koirala. “If he doesn’t come by his own volition, 

the police will arrest and bring him here to record his statement.” 

Gupta was arrested earlier too but was released by Gopal Prasad Parajuli after filing a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court. 

Fake excise duty stickers are being used with wanton disregard for the law on alcoholic beverages despite government efforts to stamp them out by launching machine readable stickers and distributing them online. 

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) uncovered the use of counterfeit stickers during a swoop on two dozen distilleries and dealers. According to the IRD, it has sealed these factories and outlets located in Bhairahawa, Janakpur, Jhapa, Sunsari and the Kathmandu Valley. 

Rasuwa Distilleries and Fruits Industries based in Balaju were found to be using excise duty tags of 70 UP 300 ml packages on its 50 UP 180 ml packages. The department seized Rs2.21 million worth of products bearing the illegal stickers and started further investigation against the firm. 

Likewise, the department sealed PNE Marketing of Tangal after the stickers used on the Zig Zag, Sunshine and Sunshine Apple brand products sold at the store were found to be suspicious. The IRD has also started an investigation against Narayani Distillery of Janakpur which manufactures them. 

The IRD has seized a large number of products from Das Madira Stores on charge of evading excise duty. The store sells products of Bholebaba Distillery, United Liquors and Highland Distillery. The department also sealed Bholebaba Distillery in Bhadrapur. The operator of another dealer, namely Brothers and Bajrang, has absconded.  

Shikhar Distillery and Liquors of Kavrepalanchok is facing action on a similar charge. The IRD has put Dristi Enterprises of Damak and Prakriti Cold Store of Birtamod under scrutiny after the stickers they were using were found to be suspicious. According to the department, it has collected specimens of the stickers used by these stores for further investigation.

 

Published: 27-04-2018 08:03

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