CBI on Thursday registered FIR against unknown persons for allegedly trying to cheat an aspiring entrepreneur by sending an email using the name of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Pankaj Kumar, a resident of Moradabad, was seeking financial help from the Medium and Small Scale Industries department to set up a desert cooler and fan manufacturing unit.
He got an e-mail, purportedly from the PMO, claiming that his loan of Rs 1.02 crore had been approved after the top office intervened in the matter, the agency said in the FIR filed on a complaint by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The mailer asked him to contact the Finance Officer in PMO “Trust Fund Office at 101, Race Course Road”. Though the accused had done their best to give the communique a look of an official e-mail but Kumar filed a complaint on public grievance website to ascertain its genuineness, the FIR said.
When the PMO received the e-mail sent from “firstname.lastname@example.org”, it became clear it was an attempt to fleece Kumar. The top office then referred the matter to CBI which registered a case of cheating under relevant sections of IPC and the Information Technology Act against the accused.
An attempt to contact the persons, whose phone numbers were given to Kumar by the accused, did not fructify as their mobile phones were switched off. The interactive voice response in one the phones was in Marathi.
When contacted, Kumar told PTI: “I wanted to set up a cooler manufacturing unit and was looking for financial aid from government. Initially, I thought the e-mail was in response to my application, but after reading it three four times, I started to doubt its authenticity.
“Thereafter, I conveyed my concern through the public grievances portal. The PMO took cognisance of it and forwarded my complaint to CBI.”
“The alleged e-mail related to the PMO’s approval for PM Trust Fund Loan Scheme for sanctioning Rs 1.02 crore and requesting therein to contact loan processing officer, namely Smita Rani Rao... it seems to be forged. The person concerned has misused the PMO’s name. It is a clear case of forgery,” a directive from the PMO said.