Rs 30 lakh recovered from suspect
The Patiala police today claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the Rs 1.5 crore fraud case in the Excise and Taxation Department. Besides arresting the suspect, identified as Dalbir Singh, the police has also recovered cash worth Rs 30.40 lakh and documents of property worth Rs 70 lakh, purchased from the embezzled amount.
Speaking to mediapersons, Patiala IG Paramjit Singh Gill said the Excise Department had hired a private security agency, Night Detective and Security Service, Mohali, for depositing the cash, collected through the department’s mobile wing, in the form of penalty imposed on the defaulters, in Axis Bank, opposite the Main Post Office. He further said that Dalbir, who was working with the security agency, was responsible for the deposit. “Instead of depositing the money in the bank, Dalbir kept usurping it and submitted fake receipts.
When the Excise Department officials checked the account, there was a shortfall of Rs 1.5 crore, following which they reported the matter to the police,” he added. Gill further said that on the basis of a written complaint lodged by Excise Department official AETC Jaspinder Singh, an FIR against Dalbir, former manager of Axis Bank, Satwinder Singh Sandhu and the security agency was lodged under Sections 420/409/320/120-B of the IPC at Civil Lines police station.
“Immediately after, we started investigations and within 12 hours, managed to arrest the main suspect, Dalbir Singh,” said the IG. Police officials further said that from the embezzled money, suspect Dalbir purchased property worth Rs 70 lakh. “We have recovered the documents and are also investigating about the rest of the money embezzled by suspect,” said Gill. Reacting to a query that the suspect was “not depositing” the money for the past three years, then how was the Excise Department unaware of the fraud, he replied, “What we can say is that whosoever is found guilty will be taken to task.”
However, sources in the police department said that since the fraud seemed impossible without the involvement of officials, the police is also investigating the role of the Excise Department officials in the entire case. Meanwhile, it is learnt that the state Excise and Taxation Commissioner has also constituted a special investigation team to look into the matter.