Spe­cial task force busts gang in­volved in cheque cloning, 3 held

Two em­ploy­ees of dif­fer­ent banks and a post­man were part of this gang

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Lucknow - HT Cor­re­spon­dent lko­re­porters­[email protected]

LUCKNOW:The Spe­cial Task Force (STF) busted a cheque cloning gang on Fri­day and ar­rested three per­sons in­clud­ing an em­ployee of a na­tion­alised bank.

Mas­ter­mind of the gang, Aditya Shukla of Kan­pur, was ar­rested from his home town while one Jagdeep Mishra was ar­rested from Lucknow. In the past, the duo had been sent to prison in Al­la­habad for a sim­i­lar of­fence.

The third ac­cused, Ajay Singh Ya­dav, work­ing as an of­fice as­sis­tant with SBI Basela branch (Hamir­pur), was ar­rested from Hamir­pur.

Other mem­bers of the gang, in­clud­ing Prem Va­j­payee, an em­ployee of Bank of Bar­oda (Kan­pur) and post­man Gopal Babu were ab­scond­ing.

The cops re­cov­ered Rs 14.80 lakh, 159 used che­ques of SBI and Cen­tral Bank, 101 Aad­haar cards, 44 cheque books of var­i­ous

banks, 37 blank cheque leaflets of var­i­ous banks, 14 rub­ber stamps, a lap­top, printer, one pis­tol of 0.32 bore and six live car­tridges among other things from the ac­cused.

The gang pre­pared 13 cloned che­ques of SBI, Hazrat­ganj branch, Lucknow and had six of them cleared suc­cess­fully. Sim­i­larly, they also with­drew cash from var­i­ous branches of SBI in Kan­pur, Kan­nauj and Un­nao with the help of cloned che­ques, said po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to STF of­fi­cials, the gang spot­ted loop­holes in the cheque trun­ca­tion sys­tem/ im­age-based clear­ing sys­tem of che­ques im­ple­mented by the RBI from Au­gust 1, 2013.

Af­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion of this sys­tem, che­ques are no longer sent for clear­ance and only their dig­i­tal im­ages are sent.

This sys­tem was im­ple­mented to cut down time re­quired in clear­ances of che­ques. It also helped banks in main­tain­ing data of che­ques cleared through cen­tralised im­age archival sys- tem.

“When che­ques were sent phys­i­cally for clear­ance, ex­pe­ri­enced em­ploy­ees of banks used to eas­ily find out whether they were gen­uine or not just by hold­ing them,” said Vi­mal Gau­tam, in­spec­tor, STF.

“But this pro­ce­dure stopped al­to­gether af­ter dig­i­tal clear­ance of che­ques was in­tro­duced. This paved way for fraud­sters to use cloned che­ques to with­draw money from bank ac­counts,” added Gau­tam.

With the help of Ajay Singh Ya­dav, an SBI em­ployee, the gang used to col­lect bank de­tails of ac­count hold­ers, in­clud­ing name of ac­count holder, ac­count num­ber, cheque de­tails and bal­ance in ac­count.

Dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, Ya­dav in­formed cops that the gang used to pro­cure cheque books of var­i­ous banks from post­man Gopal Babu af­ter pay­ing him some cash.

These cheque books were is­sued by banks to their cus­tomers and de­liv­ered by post. The gang used to pre­pare cloned che­ques with the help of print­ers and lap­tops and filled in de­tails of ac­count hold­ers that they pro­cured with the help of bank em­ploy­ees who were mem­bers of the gang.

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