On Friday night, nine persons who ran government subsidised ration shops at different places in Anand district, were held for conniving with the three main accused, officials said. (Representational)
The Cyber Crime Cell of Ahmedabad, on Friday night, busted a gang involved in impersonation of fingerprints and theft of Aadhaar data, to print fake ration bills and procure food grains at subsidised rates from government ration shops for black marketing.
According to police, three persons from Ahmedabad were arrested last week in the same case, for allegedly cloning fingerprints of ration card owners by stealing their Aadhaar data. After the cloning, fake invoices of ration card owners were printed to procure food ration at subsidised rates from ration shops. Police had then revealed that the three accused were in touch with at least 40 ration shops in the state, in order to cheat the government of subsidised food resources meant for people from the BPL (below poverty line) category.
On Friday night, nine persons who ran government subsidised ration shops at different places in Anand district, were held for conniving with the three main accused, officials said.
Explaining the scam, a Cyber Crime official said, “The ration shop owners used to steal Aadhaar number, ration card number and a softcopy of fingerprint of ration card holders from their respective shops, and give them to the main accused. The gang then used a rubber material to clone the soft copy of finger prints to print them on fake ration bills. We have arrested a total of 12 persons in this case so far and our investigation is going on.”
The nine arrested on Friday were identified as Ramesh Chand Mohnani, Dilip Patel, Joita Ram Saragara, Manohar Solanki, Vinod Vaghela, Ganga Vasava, Chetan Tulsani, Gangasagar Pandey and Praful Thakore, all owners of ration shops in Anand. The three accused who were arrested last week have been identified as Bharat Chaudhary, Dhaval Patel, and Dushyant Parmar. Among these three, Chaudhary, a former computer operator at a ration shop, was the mastermind, while Dhaval and Dushyant used to clone the fingerprints.
All 12 accused have been booked under IPC sections 420, 465, 406, 467, 468, 471 for fraud, forgery, criminal breach of trust, forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, of documents and using as genuine fraud documents respectively, apart from relevant sections of the IT act, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act. According to police, the gang had obtained Aadhaar numbers and other data of at least 780 ration card owners in Anand. “Further investigation is under way to crackdown on more such ration shop owners who might have connived with the gang,” said the official.