Gombe revenue service uncovers fake receipt syndicate
Chima Azubuike, GombeFollowing the theft of over 10,000 electronic payment receipts by unidentified staff members, the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service has uncovered a fake receipt syndicate operating in the state.Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the discovery.
The IRS administrator, Abubakar Tata, said the syndicate had made it difficult for the state to boost its Internally Generated Revenue.He stated, “Upon my resumption, I began to engage all stakeholders, irrespective of their backgrounds and what they do in the service. We have a consultant, who goes out on audit and monitoring of collection.
“The consultant, in one of his engagements at a model school in Gombe, asked for the proof of tax payment. It was then that he noticed that the receipt was not from us.“He reported the matter to me and I used my barcode application, because our receipts carry the barcode, which is the DNA of any receipt. We discovered that the amount on the receipt and its barcode differed. People paid hundreds of thousands of naira, but when we looked at the barcode, the original receipt was issued for motorcycle registration N5,200.”
Tata stated that he could not estimate the amount lost to the fraud.He added, “The service can’t say with a degree of certainty the total amount that Gombe State has lost, but 10,000 electronic receipts, all bearing the cloned signature of the former chairman, have been stolen.
“Some of the receipts bore various amounts ranging from N200,000 to N400,000. Some of the receipts were used for business premises transactions and they were as high as N15m, depending on the business.”The IRS boss said the suspects had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigation.
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