Thane: An income tax officer from Thane has been arrested by the economic offences wing of the police for allegedly masterminding an I-T refund scam and siphoning off public funds close to Rs 4 crore from 2007 to 2009.

I-T officer Pramod Gajre, responsible for preparing the refund orders and cheques, is said to have connived with three others, including a trustee of a Dombivlibased credit society. Preliminary estimates show that Rs 3.84 crore was withdrawn from fake refund orders.

The police have arrested Ramkrishna Narayan Walavalkar, trustee of the Dombivli Urban Cooperative Credit Society, and Yogesh Ramchandra Shinde and his brother Dinesh who assisted Gajre in preparing the fraudulent documents.

DCP, EOW, Dr Shrikant Paropkari, said the Shinde brothers were employed by Gajre to do his office work. He said that Gajre and Shinde would process several refund documents and stake claim to the refund of tax deducted at source. “The refund cheque would be credited to the account opened in the credit society and cash would be withdrawn from there. Gajre’s other colleagues are also suspects in the case and we are inquiring into their exact role in this scam,” Paropkari said. The scam came to light during an internal audit.

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