The Gandhinagar district police arrested a former temporary government clerk who swindled Rs. 11.60 crore meant as grants to set up tribal schools in the state while he was planning to flee to the United States with his family and the booty.
Disclosing details of the case on Thursday, superintendent of police Sharad Singhal said that the clerk, Paresh Panchal who was in charge of accounts, had diverted the money given by the state government as grants for the State Tribal Department’s Eklavya Model Residential Schools, to his own account, and bought three flats in Mumbai, a Wagon R Car and was nabbed from Goregaon in Mumbai, where he had gone to seek appointment for a visa interview, to the US.
The police seized 96 per cent of the swindled money which also includes 15 kgs of gold, Singhal said.
The 28-year-old Panchal had diverted the money to his personal account in Dena Bank, Gandhinagar by forging cheques issued by state government that were given for tribal schools running under the trust.
Appointed barely a month and a half ago as a temporary clerk at Rs 7,000 a month salary, Panchal had accumulated a total sum of Rs. 11,60,06,734. He withdrew Rs. 10.35 crores, quit the job and was about to flee to US with his wife and parents when he was arrested from Goregaon on January 19, four days after the FIR was filed in Sector 7 police station of Gandhinagar.
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Singhal said, “This was a high profile case of money swindling where the clerk had smartly converted the cash to gold to escape from the country”.
Five teams, comprising of 25 policemen was formed to probe the high profile case.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) SK Nanda along with tribal development department officials handed over appreciation certificates right from Range DIG RR Bhagat and Gandhinagar SP Sharad Singhal to the rank policemen, along with cash rewards.
In a first, the State Government announced the construction of a training and residential building inside the police headquarters in Gandhinagar as a reward for the detection of the case, which would be built by the State Government’s Tribal Development Department. The State Government also handed over Rs. 1 lakh to Gandhinagar police for distribution among the policemen who investigated the case.
The building is proposed to be constructed on 800 sq metre area will have a community centre, conference halls, residential facilities for both male and female constables separately and other facilities required for their training.