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4 loan frauds held for beguiling 300 unwary customers

| | NEW DELHI

The Delhi Police Crime Branch has arrested four people, including an ex-serviceman, for allegedly cheating more than 300 people to the tune of Rs5 crore on the pretext of offering them loan at low interest rate.

They were running the racket since 2011 and were operating as many as 36 bank accounts at different places on forged IDs, according to police. The accused gave advertisements in newspaper offering loan on very low rate of interest and asked people to contact on their given mobile phones and email IDs, said police.

To win the trust of people, they would use names of popular firms, like Mahindra and Mahindra Finance Limited and Satyam Finance Limited and others and even the logos of the companies, said DCP(Crime) Madhur Verma.

However, they didn’t targeted Delhiites as they were scared of being arrested by the Delhi Police, said one of the investigators, adding that they did not open bank accounts in the city.

Out of the 300 victims, police have identified 100 victims from various places like Mumbai, Bhopal and other places so far.

Police said they received a vital clue in the case when police started scanning details of bank accounts in which the victims deposited money.

While the guarantors for rest of the bank accounts had fake addresses, one of the accounts had a guarantor, whose identity and address were found to be genuine and through him, police managed to find the accused, said another officer.

While three of the accused were arrested from Bulandshahar, the fourth accused was arrested from Aligarh, UP respectively during the last week.

“They used to withdraw money from the accounts quickly. Even during demonetisation, they managed to withdraw huge amounts of money despite being a cap on withdrawals. They made friendship with a petrol pump attendant in UP. During demonetisation for all the cash payments made at the petrol pump, the attendant would swipe the debit cards of the accused and hand over the cash paid to him by the customer,” the DCP said.

“The attendant used to keep a part of the money for himself. He is also likely to be arrested soon,” said another officer. In January this year, the Crime Branch received a complaint from Joy Pereira, a resident of Palghar in Mumbai, alleging that he had been cheated of Rs83,630 on the pretext of providing a loan. He told police that he had applied for a personal loan of Rs4 lakh from a Delhi-based finance company after reading a newspaper advertisement, said Verma.

“They were offering loan on an interest rate of two per cent per annum. When Pereira enquired about the reason for the low rate of interest, they said it was NRI money,” said Verma. They asked the complainant to pay a processing free of Rs4,500 after which they sent an agreement asking him to pay Rs15,780. They demanded Rs27,350 for advocate fees, the DCP added.

After Pereira had paid three times, they asked him to arrange three bank guarantors but he cited his inability to do so. Then Pereira was told that the firm would arrange three guarantors but he would have to pay Rs36,000 (Rs12,000 for each guarantor). The money paid by the complainant went into separate accounts being operated in banks in neighbouring Ghaziabad.

One of the accused, Ravi Kumar, introduced himself as Bansal, a coordinator of Mahindra and Mahindra Finance Company Limited and demanded Rs36,000 more. He told Pereira that his treasurer Sanjeev Sharma is in ICU after he met with an accident and asked him to pay Rs36,000 more so that he could arrange for another treasurer.

Irked by constant demands for money, Pereira asked him to cancel his loan and return his money, investigations revealed.

Sensing that he has been duped, Pereira investigated on his own and found that one of the accounts was opened by a man based in Jagatpuri and he approached Delhi Police with a complaint. A team was constituted to nab the accused under the supervision of ACP Anand Kumar Mishra.

On the basis of some leads, police arrested Krishan Pal, alias Fauji (42) on April 6 and later his associates — Ravi Kumar (27), Tikshnapal (24) and Rajneesh  Prakash (35) — were arrested. Tikshnapal and Ravi were arrested in 2015 in Ropar district in Punjab in 2015 in a cheating case. Fauji is wanted in a cheating case by Bhopal Police, the DCP added.

Fauji was a driver with the ASC unit of the Army and retired in 2013 after serving for 17 years. Police suspect that there are 10-12 more persons who are involved in the racket and more arrests are likely to be made.

 
 
 

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