Seven men, including a film producer and a former journalist, were arrested by the crime branch for forging fixed deposit receipts and seized receipts worth Rs 30 crore from them.
The fraud came to light when the gang tried to cheat a businessman.
“The gang would make fake fixed deposit receipts and approach people saying they were in urgent need of money. They would tell the person he could keep the receipts and in turn pay just 50% or 80% of the deposit,” said Chandrakant Joshi, senior police inspector, Thane crime branch.
“They then approached a businessman, who filed a police complaint, suspecting foul play. We arrested the accused on Wednesday and seized a fake Bank of Baroda fixed deposit receipt worth Rs5 crore and a Bank of India receipt worth Rs25 crore,” the officer
added. Police said the masterminds behind the fraud were former Hindi daily deputy editor Ritendra Mathur, 44 and one Rajendra Talekar, 39, who reportedly worked as a loan agent.
The receipts were in the name of Beed resident Chetan Pokarna, 30 and Pune resident Deepak Sable, 30.
“Talekar had sufficient knowledge about bank dealings and Mathur furnished the fake receipts and other bank documents. Mathur was sacked from the newspaper nearly four years ago, said Joshi”
“Dilip Firodia, 43, who claims to have produced a Hindi film ‘Om Shanti: Fight for peace’, knew the others in the gang right from the beginning and came in touch with Annasaheb Wagh, 37, a director with a co-operative bank in Beed,” he added.
“Though from different places,their greed for money brought them together,” Joshi further said.
The accused including transport proprietor Nitin Ghorpade, 35, from Pune have been remanded in police custody till June 15.