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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SBI checkmates frauds’ plan

May 27: The alert officials of State Bank of India (SBI) have foiled an attempt by frauds to encash a fake cheque of a private company.

A police source today told The Telegraph that according to a complaint lodged by the SBI, a cheque for Rs 9.80 lakh of the bank issued by a company — Kay Pan Sugandh Private Limited — was deposited at the Fancy Bazar branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) for credit in the account of one Mukul Chandra Ray on May 10.

Ray, who hails from Bongaigaon district, has an account at PNB’s Fancy Bazar branch.

“The PNB sent the cheque to the SBI for clearing and during verification at the centralised clearing processing centre of SBI on J.C. Das Road at Panbazar, certain built-in security features were found to be missing,” the source said.

“Thereafter, a watermark test was carried out, which confirmed that the cheque bearing the number 009978, was fake. An FIR was lodged at Panbazar police station on May 12 and based on that, a case (number 163/12) was registered,” he said.

The case was registered under Sections 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (knowingly using forged documents or electronic records) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

During investigation, it was found that the office of Kay Pan Sugandh Private Limited at Ainthapali under Sambalpur district in Odisha had not issued the cheque.

“The company had also informed that the original cheque (bearing number 009978) was issued to another party in February this year and an amount of Rs 25 lakh was already withdrawn with the help of the original cheque,” he said.

“During further verification, the signature on the fake cheque was also found to be forged,” he said.

The source said Ray is now absconding and efforts are on to track him. “Though Ray is absconding, a breakthrough came on May 24 when we succeeded in arresting the person who deposited the fake cheque at the PNB from Dispur,” the source said.

The accused identified as Prabin Dutta, who hails from Gaurisagar police station area in the Sivasagar district, was identified with the help of the footage obtained from the closed-circuit television cameras in the bank.

“We have taken Dutta into our custody for interrogation after he was produced in court. We have got certain leads from him, but those can’t be revealed at this moment in the interest of further investigation,” the source said.

The police suspect the involvement of an inter-state racket in the crime, which is encashing fake cheques with the help of some locals and they may be involved in similar frauds in other parts of the state as well as in the country.