Three persons have been arrested for allegedly withdrawing over Rs.34 lakh from different bank accounts of the Indian Institute of Technology here through forged cheques in a span of over two months.
The police are also probing the role of an insider as most of the cheques forged by the accused were those which were first issued and then cancelled by the accounts department of the institute.
The fraud came to light when Canara Bank accounts officer R.K. Gupta informed the IIT-Delhi accounts department that Rs.9.75 lakh cheque had been debited from the account of the institute on September 21. When the institute took up the matter with the bank it was found that the said cheque had been prepared in the name of M/s Watchers and Keepers for Rs.1.79 lakh and was later cancelled. Similarly, three unauthorised cheques for Rs.9.75 lakh, Rs.7.75 lakh and Rs.7.15 lakh were debited from another account of the institute at PNB Custom House at IGI Airport.
These cheques were also wrongly prepared by the accounts department of the institute and thus cancelled. Efforts were also made to encash another cheque, but the accused did not succeed.
A First Information Report in the case was registered at the Vasant Vihar police station on November 2 based on the complaint of Deputy Registrar (Accounts), IIT-D, M. K. Gulati.
Taking up investigation, a police team led by Station House Officer (Vasant Vihar) Inspector Ved Prakash questioned one Vishal, who had given surety for one of the accounts opened by the cheats, and found that he had no knowledge about the opening of the said account. He purportedly told the police that one of his relatives, Ajay Kashyap, had recently borrowed his pass book for taking car loan.
At this, the police team arrested Ajay on November 10 outside IIT campus. Two country-made pistols, 10 live cartridges and several pass books and cheques books were seized from his possession.
Two of his accomplices, Ashu and Vipin, were arrested later at his instance.
The accused purportedly told the police that they had committed the fraud at the behest of their gang leader Manoj Tyagi, who has earlier been arrested for similar offence. Ashu and Vipin, who have earlier worked in courier companies, would allegedly steal cheques from different courier services and supplied it to Manoj and Ajay. The two would then scan the stolen cheques, put the names and addresses of forged account holders and encash them, the police said.