Mumbai Police have busted a racket of fraudsters who allegedly duped several loan-seekers by tampering with the 'cancelled' cheques using special eraser pens and illegally withdrawing money from their bank accounts, an official said on Wednesday.
The accused would scan various social networking sites to identify their potential targets who are online applicants of loans, and approach them by posing as representatives of multi-national banks, a Kurar police station official said.
The alleged scam came to light after Kandivali resident, Rakesh Kumar Choubey, lodged a complaint claiming he had lost Rs one lakh from his bank account after issuing a cancelled blank cheque.
Explaining the modus operandi of the gang, the official said one of the accused had approached Choubey in the month of August with an offer for an educational loan for his daughter.
"The accused took a crossed cancelled cheque from Choubey towards loan procedure. He asked the victim to keep a minimum balance of Rs one lakh in his account for loan sanction. He also took documents like PAN card, Aadhaar card and residential proofs from Choubey," he said.
However, the accused later erased the word "cancelled" written on the cheque and withdrew Rs one lakh from the bank account of the complainant from Borivali and Dahisar branches of a bank.
During the probe, which also included scanning of CCTV footage of the bank, police zeroed in on one of the accused and arrested him, he said, adding that others were also picked up subsequently.
They are identified as Gurmitha Singh Balwant Singh Gujaral (33), Biren Kaushik Purohit (44), Paresh Shantilal Hingu (29) and Jiger Dhirajlal Kareliya (35), he said, adding that another member of the gang is still at large.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone XII, D S Swami said police have recovered special eraser pens which were allegedly used in the crime, cancelled cheques of four banks, Rs 60,000 cash and other documents from the accused.
"All of them have a criminal background and cases are pending against them in various police stations in Mumbai and Thane district," he said.
They were produced before a court which remanded them in police custody till September 13.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)