The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Voucher fraud nets two more

In a dawn swoop on Sunday, the police arrested two persons — one from the ‘guest’ barracks of the Fourth Battalion of Calcutta Police — and recovered Rs 21 lakh and gold jewellery worth another Rs 20 lakh from them.

The raid followed the arrest of Satish Chandra Ghosh, a labour contractor. Hare Street officers had picked up Ghosh from his Salt Lake residence on May 28 on charges of misappropriating more than Rs 1 crore from construction firm MacKintosh Burn. Ghosh was found to have forged signatures on the firm’s vouchers to rake in the funds.

“Ghosh would use a number of vouchers to withdraw small sums of money. He must have submitted around 10 vouchers with forged signatures, but was never caught. The firm discovered the misappropriation during its annual audit,” said a police officer.

Preliminary investigations revealed a link between the arrested duo and Ghosh. “The cash and jewellery recovered from the two were part of what been sourced from the firm’s account,” said D.P. Bhattacharya, officer-in-charge, Hare Street police station.

First to be rounded up was Bidhan Brahma, Ghosh’s brother-in-law, from the Metropolitan Housing Society. “Ghosh has an office there, from where we arrested Brahma and recovered Rs 21.85 lakh,” said an officer of Hare Street police station.

Brahma put the cops on the trail of Sunil Saha, who was staying as a guest at the Fourth Battalion barracks. The sleuths raided the barracks, picked up Saha and seized the gold jewellery in his possession. “Saha was staying at the police barracks as a guest of a constable, who lives in Cooch Behar. He was allowed to stay in the barracks on the basis of a letter of recommendation from the constable. So, the constable will also be questioned,” said a police officer.

Police are now looking for the rest of the money. “We will have to trace another Rs 50 lakh. The contractor was trying to convert the money into assets by buying jewellery. We suspect that he has already transferred part of the money into other accounts,” said an officer on the case.

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