Main suspect lands in VB dragnet : The Tribune India

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Main suspect lands in VB dragnet

Took Rs 25L cheques from farmer posing as Vigilance officials

Main suspect lands in VB dragnet

The suspect in custody of the VB on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29

The Vigilance Bureau (VB), Ludhiana, today arrested the main suspect for obtaining two cheques amounting to Rs 25 lakh from a farmer posing as Vigilance officials.

The suspect has been identified as Pinder Sodhi, a resident of Chabbewal town in Hoshiarpur district. He, along with his accomplices, was declared a proclaimed offender.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson for the state VB said the case was registered on the complaint of Palwinder Singh, a resident of Bhaini Salu village, Koom Kalan police station, Ludhiana district. The complainant alleged that he sold 18 acres of his ancestral land. Later, he received a notice regarding the sale of panchayat land, following which three unidentified persons came to his house on August 12, 2023, and introduced themselves as officers from the Vigilance Department, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

The complainant alleged that they demanded Rs 50 lakh from him to sort out the issue, claiming that an inquiry was pending at the Chandigarh office. Otherwise, a fraud case would be registered against him.

The complainant agreed to pay Rs 25 lakh. The impersonators convinced him to sign two cheques for Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. They assured him to return the cheques once they received Rs 25 lakh in cash. He said one of the suspects also took Rs 27,000 from his pocket and fled after getting his phone number.

The spokesperson said the complainant later received calls on WhatsApp threatening him to register a criminal case against him if he failed to pay the promised amount of Rs 25 lakh in cash.

A case under Sections 7 and 7-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 384 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against Manjeet Singh of Bhaini Salu village and four unidentified persons at the VB police station, Ludhiana range, on August 28, 2023.

The spokesperson said Manjeet Singh and Paramjeet Singh of Mehlon village, Samrala tehsil, and Parminder Singh, a resident of Akash Colony, Hoshiarpur city, had already been arrested. The main suspect, Pinder Sodhi, and Hardip Singh, a resident of Khamano town, were absconding. They were declared proclaimed offenders in January this year.

The spokesperson said Pinder, who tried to flee in his car, was arrested from a park in Sector 32, near BCM School, Chandigarh road, Ludhiana. During search, logos of Human Rights Commission, three mobile phones, a driving licence of the UAE, Indian currency notes and 305 Dirham currency notes were recovered from his car. He would be produced in the court tomorrow.

Three persons already nabbed

The VB spokesperson said Manjeet Singh and Paramjeet Singh of Mehlon village, Samrala tehsil, and Parminder Singh, a resident of Akash Colony, Hoshiarpur city, had already been arrested. The main suspect, Pinder Sodhi, and Hardip Singh, a resident of Khamano town, were absconding. They were declared proclaimed offenders in January this year.

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