February 11, 2021 4:16:29 am
DAYS AFTER the office of Electrotherm (India) Ltd in Gandhinagar was searched by State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) officials in connection with an alleged bogus billing scam, more than 900 illicit liquor bottles and live cartridges have been found from the its premises. Gandhinagar police has now formed multiple teams to nab the firm’s managing director, Shailesh Bhandari.
SGST officials said the premises of Electrotherm (India) Ltd — having units in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar — were searched about a week ago in connection with a bogus billing scam. A number of documents were found during the searches at the company’s offices on February 3, which revealed unaccounted transactions worth Rs 46.69 crore.
The SGST department also found a truck, belonging to the company, on its premises at Palodiya village in Gandhinagar’s Kalol with several bottles containing foreign liquor.
The team contacted the nearby police station at Santej, which found there were a total of 900-odd Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) bottles worth Rs 33 lakh in the truck. A case under the Prohibition Act has also been lodged against Bhandaari at Santej police station.
On February 4, the SGST officials searched the house of a company employee, who used to function as “security in charge”, and found another four boxes containing 62 liquor bottles. Apart from this, 36 more bottles were found from another bungalow.
While SGST officials said no empty cartridges were recovered from the premises of Electrotherm during their raids, a team of Santej PS, which searched the office premises at Palodiya village of Kalol on February 6, found eight live cartridges packed in a polybag and kept in the drawer of an office table. A second FIR has been lodged against Bhandari under sections of the Arms Act after the staff of Bhandari were unable to show license for the cartridges. The probe has been handed over to Gandhinagar Local Crime Branch team.
The investigating officer and Police Inspector Jayesh Vaghela of Gandhinagar LCB told The Indian Express, “The eight live cartridges are of a 0.22 revolver and there is no police record of Bhandari having license of any weapon. The accused has gone absconding since the day of raid and multiple teams have been formed to nab him.”
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