Barbil: An entrepreneur was reportedly duped of lakhs of rupees, all due to his ‘magic’ pen a few months ago. The sand mafia was making use of this tactic to carry on with illegal sand transportation in Barbil area of Keonjhar.
A big racket was making multiple use of expired transit passes with a magic pen and transported sand from Banei in Sundargarh district to Barbil. The racket was busted by the police in Barbil Thursday evening, a report said.
Police seized seven Haiwas, a ‘magic’ pen and a writer. They also arrested seven people, including the owner of the sand ghat, manager of the ghat and seven drivers.
Those who were arrested were the lease holder of the sand mine, Madhab Chandra Majhi (Rajamunda area), manager Dharmapada Sahu (Banei), Ananda Das, Khud Champia, Bishal Babanga, Lalutu Mohant, Mahavie Das, Ajit Tuti and Bhagirathi Tuti (all drivers).
As soon as police got a tip-off about transportation of sand in heavy vehicles Thursday evening, a team of officials – Barbil SDPO Satya Vikash Bhuyan, IIC Sushant Das – intercepted seven Haiwas which were passing by that route.
On checking of documents, the police were shocked to find transit passes which were used multiple times for transportation of sand. The transporters had erased printed details in transit passes and updated details with a ‘magic’ pen. The monitoring authorities could not differentiate between the original and duplicate transit passes while giving go-ahead to vehicles at the checking points.
The police unraveled the fact that tonnes of sand have been transported through hundreds of trucks in such a manner in the past. The transporters duped huge revenue in a fraudulent manner while the government suffered massive losses.
It was learnt that such fraud in sand transportation was being committed at the instruction of the lease holder. Police registered a case against nine accused under various sections of IPC and MMDR Act. They were produced in court Friday.
Barbil IIC said that before unloading of sand from trucks, transit passes were updated with a ‘magic’ pen and these transit passes were deposited with the authorities after unloading at the destinations.
“The government suffered revenue losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees every day,” the IIC added.