The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city crime branch have registered a case against a Class I government officer, bank officials and few others for allegedly duping Sant Rohidas Leather Industries and Charmakar Development Corporation Limited to the tune of Rs 8.10 crore.
Interestingly, the modus-operandi was similar to the one used by the accused in South Indian Education Society (SIES) trust case.
According to police sources, the corporation, which has its head office at Fort, receives funds from the government to help the needy in the leather industry. As per the complaint, in February 2014, one Bhavesh Bhatt had approached the corporation stating that he is into investment consultancy.
"It is alleged in the complaint that a senior government official who was holding temporary charge in the corporation had directed the complainant, a subordinate, to invest money in fixed deposit through Bhatt in Lokhandwala branch of a nationalised bank for more returns," said an EOW officer, requesting anonymity.
He added that, on the instructions of his superior, the complainant got an FD of Rs 9 crore done with the bank. "On the basis of the FD, the accused got an overdraft facility of Rs 8.10 crore and later siphoned off the money. On June 27, when the bank alerted the corporation about the overdraft facility, they learnt that they have been duped as they never applied for any overdraft facility," the officer said.
A complaint was then lodged on August 7 against a class I officer from the corporation, a retired government officer, Bhatt, his accomplice and unknown bank officials. A case under sections 255 (counterfeiting government stamp), 256 (having possession of instrument or material for counterfeiting government stamp), 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.
"It is a serious offence as government money meant for the needy has been siphoned off. No arrests have been made so far. The modus-operandi used in the case is the same used by the accused involved in the SIES trust fraud," said the officer.