When the Malad police arrested three persons last month in connection with a credit card fraud, the thought it won’t be worth more than a few lakhs.
However, during investigations this week, the police were stunned to find that the fraud was worth more than Rs 10 crore.
The police found that the three had purchased many expensive luxury cars worth crores of rupees through the fraudulent credit cards and sold them at a higher cost in other parts of the country.
The police have seized credit cards and cash amounting to Rs. Two lakh from the accused, who have been identified as Vidyut alias Mehul Praveen Shah (24), Ankit Nitin Kothadiya (23) and Ravi Hiralal Kathodiya (17).
Two luxury cars have also been recovered. The three were nabbed from a flat in Evershine Nagar in Malad east recently.
According to inspector Dattaram Nalavade, the investigating officer, based on information the police raided four apartments in Evershine Nagar, where the trio used to make forged documents.
On checking the apartments, the police found many forged credit cards, debit cards, visa cards, PAN cards of various banks and a computer system that the three utilized for making the forged documents.
“Their modus operandi was very accurate,” said Nalavade. However, according to the investigations so far the police have established that the three were just a small part of a larger nexus spread across the city.
“I assume that there are more than 20 people involved in the nexus and the mastermind behind the entire nexus is based in Delhi, which would soon be caught,” said Nalavade.
He added that the trio used to allegedly convince people that they would help them to get loans from various banks and take the related documents. They then used to prepare the forged documents based on the original and open accounts in various banks and then the next step was to apply for credit cards.
The arrested youths have confessed that they had been carrying out this crime since the past three years.
“They had also opened fake company in Malad called Amba Pharmaceuticals with the help of the forged documents for taking care of the verification process,” said Nalavade.
“In the beginning we thought that the fraud is just worth a few lakhs but as we investigated the documents and the things bought with the cards we found that the group had also purchased a number of luxury cars worth crores and sold them in cities like Delhi, Ahemdabad at a higher price,” he added.
On interrogation, one of the arrested, Shah admitted that there is a larger gang involved that have opened fake companies in Andheri Lokhandwala, Malad, Kandivali, Borivali and various other parts of the city to carry on the crime.
“We have recovered two cars so far and are planning to raid the other fake companies also. The masterminds behind the crime, which is supposedly based in Delhi, will also soon be arrested,” he said.
However, presently the trio have been arrested under sections 465, 467, 468, 473, 419, 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).