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Modi Government Protecting Maharashtra BJP MLC Accused Of “Tax Evasion And Human Trafficking”

On April 4, the security unit of Civil Aviation Ministry accused Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, promoted by BJP MLC Prasad Minesh Lad and his wife, of appointing “ghost employees” to “evade taxes”.

An Indian Express report has blown the lid off an attempt by the Modi government to protect a Maharashtra BJP MLC accused of “tax evasion and human trafficking”. The civil aviation ministry, the report claims, has lifted a clearance on an aviation services firm—promoted by MLC Prasad Minesh Lad—that is facing charges of tax evasion and human trafficking framed by the ministry’s own security unit, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

On April 4, BCAS accused Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, promoted by Lad and his wife, of appointing “ghost employees” to “evade taxes”.

The BCAS reportedly cited a security report that also accused the group’s companies of sending people “to Dubai for jobs”. But, acting on an appeal filed by Lad, the ministry sent the case back to BCAS on April 18 directing it to give a personal hearing to the company, get central security agencies to file a detailed report and pass a final order in two months.

While the civil aviation ministry and the BCAS did not respond to requests for a comment made by the newspaper, Lad was quoted as saying the charges were “baseless and rubbish”.

“Till date, there is not a single complaint or FIR against any of my companies,” Lad was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “We have filed an appeal and now the BCAS order has been stayed by the ministry. They (BCAS) have not shown us a single complaint against my firms.”

According to The Indian Express, the BCAS had cancelled the firm’s clearance based on the findings of a background check conducted by a central security agency.

The paper has quoted the BCAS order: “The Agency in its report dated 09/02/2018 mentioned that Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd recruited people and sent them to Dubai for jobs in activities related to security, housekeeping and maintenance. Inputs indicated apprehensions that in connection with the activities mentioned above, the documents being collected from job seekers are being misused by the company particularly to create ghost employees in the payroll of associates to evade taxes and the group is also involved in human trafficking.”

Krystal Aviation Services provides ground handling services to firms across five international airports in India and was granted security clearance by BCAS from 2010 to 2015, The Indian Express report says.

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