A gang that posed as Income Tax officials and tried to cheat a goldsmith was apprehended at Triplicane on Saturday.

According to police, the goldsmith, Brindavan Choudhry of Park Town, received a call on his mobile phone on Friday from Sahid Samantho, who claimed to be an Income Tax Officer. Stating that the department had reliable information about tax evasion, he asked the goldsmith to meet him in a lodge at Triplicane.

When Choudhry went there, 14 persons were in a room, some of them posing as Income Tax officials. Samantho told the goldsmith that he had to pay Rs.20 lakh tax considering the quantity of gold in his possession.

When Choudhry tried to explain his inability to pay, the accused offered to settle the case for Rs.10 lakh.

After taking Rs.10,000 from Choudhry, the accused asked him to return with Rs.10 lakh before 10 p.m. to avoid raid on his shop. Sensing foul play, the goldsmith lodged a complaint with the police. On the instructions of Joint Commissioner of Police (Central) V.A. Ravikumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Triplicane) T.S. Abu formed a special team to investigate. It raided the lodge and arrested Sahid and 13 others. Some of the accused belonged to West Bengal. Police seized Rs.10,000, fake Income Tax Department stamps and a vehicle from the gang. "One of the accused, Anand, was an employee of Choudhry. He and his associate, also an accused in this case, had cheated a businessman in a similar fashion a few months ago," Mr. Ravikumar said.

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