Bihar fake cheque racket busted

The Economic Offence Unit (EOU) of the Bihar police has busted a racket which used fake cheques and forged signatures to withdraw several crores of rupees from the government account in the last few months.

The EOU managed to unearth the scam after it arrested eight persons, including two State Bank of India (SBI) employees, who reportedly worked on a 10 per cent commission basis and provided all logistic support to the racketeers.

The modus operandi of the scamsters suggested that cheques related to different accounts were scanned and prepared with the help of sophisticated computer-based printing.

Bank officials helped them in getting a photo-copy of the cheque of the targeted account and let them know the serial number of the unused ones. The signature of the government official (who was in charge of the bank account concerned) was copied with clinical precision by one of the scamsters.

According to EOU sources, the miscreants used fake documents to open several bank accounts in which the siphoned -off money was credited through fraudulent means with the help of bank employees.

The EOU sleuths have been trying to sniff out this gang ever since Rs 24 lakh was illegally withdrawn from the account of district education officer (DEO), Patna, using fake cheques and forged signatures in October 2012.

After a tip-off, the police got the first breakthrough when it intercepted a sports utility vehicle on Patna-Gaya road in the wee hours of May 1. The vehicle, which was on its way to Kolkata, was being driven by Sunny Priyadarshi, who is said to be the kingpin of the racket.

The police recovered 13 fake cheques from him. Out of this, seven cheques had the forged signature of Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC), Gopalganj, while the other six cheques bore the forged signature of Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Danapur.

“Several ATM cards, credit cards and other incriminating documents were seized from Priyadarshi, who is a resident of Patliputra Colony in the State Capital,” said Inspector General (IG) of the EOU, Praveen Vashistha.

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