The North Division police arrested four men who, posing as businessmen, used to buy raw materials worth several crores of rupees on credit by providing fake documents. They would then wind up the business after reselling the goods at throwaway prices.

The accused — P. Lokesh (33), G.D. Shadakshari (32), M.S. Vadivelu (27) and N.E. Nagraj (33) — were arrested based on complaints by several iron and steel, tiles and sanitary goods manufacturers. The brain behind the gang, Raghavendra, is absconding with four other associates. According to the police, the accused would rent an office and get TIN (Taxpayers Identification Number that is mandatory for anyone wanting to start a business) with forged documents.

They would apply for TIN in the name of their employees, showing them as owners of the company. This not only helped conceal their identity but also helped them avail of the facility to get TIN, the police said. The four used to approach manufacturers asking for raw materials on credit after producing fake documents, including TIN, income tax returns, audited financials and rental agreements of their offices. Once they picked up the goods, worth crores of rupees, they would sell them to local traders at throwaway prices and vamoose.

With the booty in their pockets, the accused would lie low for a few months splurging the money before setting up another office in a new locality with a fresh set of fake documents to target another unsuspecting company, the police said. Over the last five years, the four took several companies for a ride. Using the mobile network, the police tracked part of the gang and recovered Rs. 19 lakh in cash, a car and a number of fake documents.

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