In a plot resembling a movie script, a counterfeit toll plaza emerged on the Bamanbore-Kutch national highway in the Indian state of Gujarat, deceiving commuters for a staggering one-and-a-half years, according to an NDTV report.
Constructed on private land in Gujarat’s Morbi district, the illicit toll plaza sidestepped the national highway, imposing a 50% fee and duping unsuspecting commuters, law enforcement, and government officials for an extended period.
The toll plaza manager on the authorized highway revealed that private landowners illicitly extracted thousands of rupees daily from commuters over the course of one-and-a-half years.
By enticing commuters with a 50% discounted rate, the fraudulent toll collection operation evaded detection for over a year. The culprits skillfully redirected traffic away from the legitimate route, utilizing land owned by the defunct White House Ceramic Company.
Law enforcement lodged a complaint against the factory owner, Amarshi Patel, and four accomplices—Vanraj Singh Jhala, Harvijay Singh Jhala, Dharmendra Singh Jhala, and Yuvraj Singh Jhala, among others.
“We received information that some vehicles were being diverted from the actual route of the Varghasia toll plaza and toll tax was being collected. The police and other officials reached the spot to investigate and filed a detailed complaint,” local district Collector GT Pandya said.
This incident unfolds not long after the arrest of an individual in the state who, for nearly three years, established a counterfeit government office, embezzling over Rs 4 crore in government funds.