Rajajinagar resident Channappa alias Chandre Gowda was arrested by the Central Crime Branch following a complaint from a transport company owner
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Once listed as a witness in a case of tax evasion, a 52-year-old man went on to impersonate a GST officer and extort money from owners of freight vehicles, the CCB said.
Rajajinagar resident Channappa alias Chandre Gowda was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) following a complaint from a transport company owner.
The CCB said Gowda had been extorting money from truck drivers and owners near an RTO check post for the past few years.
A few years ago, GST officials used Gowda as a witness while seizing vehicles for tax evasion. This gave him the idea to impersonate as a GST officer.
Gowda came under the police radar after Pramod Salunke, owner of Pranav Transports, filed a complaint with the joint commissioner of commercial taxes department on September 2.
According to Salunke, Gowda phoned him on August 28, demanding Rs 1 lakh per month to leave his trucks unchecked from Attibele until Hubballi via Tumakuru. Salunke refused, saying he was not doing anything illegal.
A day before, Gowda had caught Salunke’s truck near the Attibele check post and demanded Rs 50,000 from the driver. He also took the tax slips from the driver and demanded the money to return the truck and the slips. He released the truck after taking Rs 1,000 from the driver but didn’t return the documents.
Gowda clicked pictures of the vehicle and sent them to commercial tax officials in Tumakuru on the same day. Officials seized the truck. Salunke’s manager Basant Kumar phoned Channappa with the request to release the truck. Salunke’s men had to go to Tumakuru to get the vehicle released following the procedures. When they asked the officials about Gowda, they were told that there was no such officer.
Joint commissioner Basavaraj G S filed a criminal case with Koramangala police on September 24. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant transferred the case to the CCB.
Officers suspect that Gowda is part of a bigger racket, and has been taken into police custody for further investigation.
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