Two men were arrested in the capital for allegedly siphoning off Rs 1.5 crore by stealing cheques from drop boxes and encashing them by opening bank accounts using forged documents, police said on Tuesday.
The arrested men have been identified as Shailesh Choudhary (37), a resident of Dwarka, and Sakishan Pal (56), hailing from Meerut.
Bulk of the money they collected through fraud was spent on horse racing, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) HGS Dhaliwal said.
"They used to steal cheques from drop boxes installed at petrol pumps and encashed them by opening bank accounts in different banks in Delhi and other states.
They were arrested in 2004 by Meerut Police and in 2007 by South Delhi police for committing the same offence, he said.
The arrests came following investigations into complaints filed by South Indian Bank, Indian Bank, HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Citi Bank.
In October 2009, they allegedly committed a fraud in Jaipur and this month, they stole a cheque of Rs three lakh of a leading eye surgeon of South Delhi and encashed the same in HDFC Bank by opening a fake account, Dhaliwal said.
So far, 30 such incidents have come to notice.
During investigations, it came to light that all bank accounts were opened by producing fake driving licenses having the same pattern. In several accounts, same photographs were used.
Police zeroed in on Chaudhary as he was previously arrested in a bank fraud case by adopting same modus-operandi.
"Chaudhury got involved in theft of credit cards and purchased articles with the stolen credit cards. In 2004, he was arrested in Meerut in credit card theft. After his release from jail, he shifted to Dwarka," Dhaliwal said.
They used to steal cheques in the afternoon hours as usually drop boxes were full in such hours. Two cars and five expensive mobile phones were recovered from them.