17 mortgage fake gold, get loans worth ₹85 lakh in Varanasi; 10 arrested
Ten out of 17 people, who were accused of defrauding three branches of Canara Bank in the city by taking loans worth ₹85 lakh by mortgaging fake gold, were arrested on Sunday, police officials said.
One person had surrendered before a court while search for the remaining six was on. The fraud came to light when the bank officials get examined the mortgaged fake gold by an independent jeweller other than the authorised gold appraiser of the bank, they said.
“Three cases were registered against 17 people, including Ravindra Prakash Seth, Prateek Rastogi, Vijay Prajapati, Amit Kumar Sharma and others under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at two different police stations including Cantt and two at Maduadih police station, following three complaints lodged by officials of the three branches of the bank in this regard,” said a senior police officer.
The officer said that one case was registered against 11 people in the first week of August, following a complaint by manager of the Cantt bank branch, Rampal Singh while two cases were registered against six people at Manduadih on August 17, following two different complaints lodged by the managers of two different branches in Lahartara area.
An investigation started in the three cases and teams were deployed at different locations to ensure the arrest of the accused, the officer said.
“On Sunday, 10 accused including Shivnarayan Yadav, Amit Kumar Sharma, Suraj Bind, Prateek Rastogi, Sagar Kumar Maurya, Rajesh Kumar Mehta, Laxman Singh, Neha Srivastava, Shweta Zaberi and Deepa Prajapati were arrested from different locations in the city,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP), Prabal Pratap Singh.
The officer said that during interrogation, Prateek Rastogi revealed that he knew Ravindra Prakash Seth, an authorised gold appraiser of the two branches of Canara Bank, for long time. He befriended Seth and Vijay Prajapati and hatched a plan to make money. “Under the plan, Prateek and Vijay, claimed to be the agents of the bank, motivated some people to take loan in lieu of fake gold from two branches of Canara Bank in Lahartara and one branch in Orderly Bazaar,” the officer said.
The gold, which they had to deposit in the branches, were provided to them by Ravindra Prakash Seth. In lieu, each person, who took the loan on fake gold, were given ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 as commission. Prateek, Ravindra and Vijay distributed the remaining amount equally among them as their share, the officer said.
According to a bank official, the gold deposited by the customers for the loan is first examined by an authorised gold appraiser of the bank and after three months, the gold is again get examined by a Sarraf or jeweller.