3 held in million-rupee stamp paper scam at Godhra
Godhra, May 13 (UNI) The district authorities today arrested a stamp paper vendor, his son and the chief accountant of the government treasury, in what appears to be yet another stamp paper scam, albeit of a smaller scale.
Acting on a tip off, District Collector Dineshchandra Brahmbhatt himself led the raid and seized cash and valuables worth Rs 2.14 lakh from the office and residential premises of the vendor and Rs 99,000 from the accountant, which were disproportionate to their income.
Mr Brahmbhatt told UNI that preliminary investigation revealed it to be scam amounting to a least Rs 16 lakh. He said it could be possible with the connivance of the treasury staff.
The raid party, assisted by a posse of policemen, seized blank stamp papers worth Rs three lakh, besides cash and valuables totalling Rs 2.14 lakh from father-son team of Ilyas Qureshi (60) and Iqbal Qureshi (30), operating from Qureshi Mohalla in the town for the past several years.
Similarly, the collector said that raids at the residence of chief accountant Amrutlal Prajapati also yielded cash, valuables and blank stamp papers worth Rs 99,000 from his residential premises.
Interestingly, Mr Brahmbhatt had got inkling of a likely scam a few days back and had inquired from district treasury officer B S Vasava, but latter pleaded ignorance about any such possibility. Mr Vasava is being interrogated at present.
In between, the Collector said the vendor unsuccessfully tried to return blank stamp papers worth about Rs 16 lakhs by a courier company, perhaps suspecting a raid but apparently could not complete the clean-up job that neatly.
Since the stamp papers have to be issued against bank challan, the stamp vendor duo's modus operandi was to requisition stamp papers ten times the amount they used to deposit in the bank, adding one 'zero' to the number, and pocket the money through sale of unaccounted stamp papers.
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