VAT detectives unearthed VAT evasion worth Tk2.54 crore against The Mirage restaurant & Shisha Lounge in Gulshan in the capital and filed a case against the latter on Monday as per the VAT Act under the Dhaka North Commissionerate.
According to Moinul Khan, director general, VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate, an investigation had revealed that The Mirage had concealed Tk9.33 crore in sales, leading to VAT evasion of Tk1.39 crore.
Based on specific allegations of VAT evasion, a team of VAT detectives conducted a search operation at The Mirage Shisha Lounge on November 12 at House No 9/A, Road No 3, Gulshan.
During the raid, detectives found the Shisha Lounge operating behind a restaurant. Since the company failed to produce any valid documents, detectives eventually seized 15 kg of shisha and shisha smoking paraphernalia from the premises. Detectives also seized the company's commercial documents.
Based on information and documents collected during the course of the investigation and seizure, Tk1.40 crore in VAT had been evaded on sales between July 2013 and October 2020. Under the VAT Act, Tk98 lakh at a monthly interest rate of 2% is applicable.
A closer scrutiny of the data also revealed that Shisha Lounge was involved in VAT evasion (at source) of Tk8.40 lakh on the purchase of various services. Tk7.88 lakh at a monthly interest rate of 2% is applicable.
VAT evasion of Tk1.48 crore was uncovered against The Mirage for sale and deduction at source. Additionally, a total of Tk 1.06 crore will be levied as interest on the evaded VAT. Therefore, the company is involved in a total revenue evasion of Tk2.54 crore.
Company authorities have not been able to show a legitimate source of the shisha and shisha products purchased. According to the law, these have been recommended for confiscation in favour of the state.
According to the company's VAT registration, the business name is "The Friends House Ltd", VAT Registration No: 003269047-0101.
The operation was led by the Deputy Director of VAT, Detective Tanvir Ahmed and Assistant Director Muhammad Mohi Uddin.