Gang cre­ates 3 fake firms with ghost staff, dupes bank of 1cr

Chooses Names Sim­i­lar To Those Of Well-Known Com­pa­nies; Mas­ter­mind Held

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Sid­harth Bhard­waj & Pankhuri Ya­dav

New Delhi: This prob­a­bly qual­i­fies as the con of the year. The plan was bril­liant in its con­cep­tion: cre­ate fake com­pa­nies and have bank ac­counts opened for their ghost em­ploy­ees and then use their credit and ATM cards to draw money. The gang al­legedly man­aged to dupe HDFC Bank of close to Rs 1 crore in this man­ner.

Po­lice said on Satur­day that the con­men formed two fic­ti­tious com­pa­nies, tak­ing care to give them the fake and mis­lead­ing names of Eric­s­son Tech­nolo­gies and Carso Global Tele­com In­dia. They then cre­ated an em­ployee list for the two firms. Us­ing forged cre­den­tials, they opened bank ac­counts in the names of th­ese ghost em­ploy­ees. The “em­ploy­ers”, or the two com­pa­nies, then be­gan trans­fer­ring salaries to the ac­counts of the “em­ploy­ees” ev­ery month.

A third busi­ness com­pany was cre­ated, its cur­rent ac­count opened, and a point of sale (POS) ma­chine pro­cured in its name. The credit cards of the ghost em­ploy­ees were swiped on this POS ma­chine and the money sub­se­quently retrieved from ATMs. The crooks al- so man­aged to take loans against the em­ploy­ees’ salary ac­counts. The gang man­aged to siphon off Rs 97.8 lakh be­fore go­ing un­der­ground.

The bank de­tected sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing big amounts and roped in the cops for a probe. It took 10 months of ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion for po­lice to bust the scam­sters.

DCP (south-east) Chin­moy Biswal said, “HDFC Bank com­plained to us that its of­fi­cials ob­served that com­pa­nies go­ing by the name of Carso Global Tele­com In­dia and Eric­s­son Tech­nolo­gies had cred­ited salaries at pe­ri­odic in­ter­vals from other bank ac­counts in sav­ing ac­counts held in var­i­ous Delhi branches of HDFC Bank.”

He said the bank had ex­tended credit fa­cil­i­ties to the ac­count hold­ers in the form of credit cards and loans, but la- ter dis­cov­ered dur­ing scru­tiny that most of the doc­u­ments used to open the ac­counts were forged. They also re­alised that the same set of pho­to­graphs had been used to open var­i­ous ac­counts. Bank of­fi­cials vis­ited the ad­dresses of the two com­pa­nies, but found no busi­nesses op­er­at­ing from the premises. “The reg­is­tered of­fice of Eric­s­son Tech­nolo­gies turned out to be a res­i­den­tial house,” said Bis- wal. The fic­ti­tious di­rec­tors of the two com­pa­nies in the bank doc­u­ments were given as Yo­gen­der Singh, Bittu Singh, Karan Singha and Amit Ku­mar.

An FIR was reg­is­tered and a team led by SHO Ajab Singh and SI Na­gen­der Na­gar be­gan the probe. The team stud­ied the doc­u­ments pro­vided by the bank, mounted tech­ni­cal sur­veil­lance and used hu­man in­tel­li­gence to gather in­for­ma­tion. CCTV footage from the bank and ATMs was col­lected for anal­y­sis.

The video feed showed a per­son de­posit­ing cash in the bo­gus cur­rent bank ac­counts of the com­pa­nies and get­ting the money trans­ferred to the fake sav­ing bank ac­counts. He was also spot­ted with­draw­ing money from the sav­ing ac­counts at ATMs. The sus­pect, San­jeet Ku­mar, was traced to south-east Delhi’s Madan­pur Khadar and ar­rested.

While Ku­mar, 32, is in the cops’ grip, raids are be­ing con­ducted in Delhi, UP and Bi­har in the hunt for the oth­ers. Po­lice have seized a lap­top with in­crim­i­na­tory data, print­ers, lam­i­na­tion ma­chines, mon­i­tors and other gad­gets apart from Aad­haar cards and PAN cards from the group’s hide­out.

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