Two held for duping 300 people in Faridabad on pretext of providing them loan
Gurugram: The Faridabad police on Wednesday arrested two men for allegedly duping more than 300 people on the pretext of providing them loan under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), a credit-linked subsidy programme which provides loan for setting up a business.
The suspects, who were arrested from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, have been identified as Ajit Thakur (27) from Bihar, and his aide Nitin Singh of Uttar Pradesh.
The fraud came to light after a woman working for the suspects approached the police and told them how she fell prey to a lucrative offer and joined their consultancy firm located in Sector 7, Faridabad. The victims whom the woman had approached to offer the loan schemes, as part of her job, were now threatening her for life as she had convinced them to pay advance processing fee for the loan, the police said.
According to the police, they received a complaint in December last year from the woman, Megha Singh, who is a resident of Faridabad.
“During my interview for the job at the consultant’s office in Faridabad, the two introduced themselves as consultants providing loans for setting up businesses. One of them offered me job and an incentive of 15% on the total loan amount I will get through my contacts,” Megha told HT.
The police said the suspects had taken an office on rent through fake documents and used to take an advance commission of 10% on loan amount. They also used to take ₹1,150 as file charges.
Faridabad police commissioner KK Rao said that the suspects had placed advertisements and had introduced themselves as directors of ‘Jan Kalyan Finance Consultant’. “After Megha told her parents about the lucrative incentive, her father also joined the same office. They were paid a salary of ₹10,000 each apart from the incentive,” he said.
The police said that Megha and her father started approaching their near and dear ones who were interested in taking loan. “They used to tell people that her office was offering a loan of ₹3 lakh under the aegis of PMEGP and that an approval letter would be sent once a nominal ‘security amount’ was deposited,” Rao said, adding that a subsidy was also part of the offer.
The police said people started paying the amount after they received an approval letter on e-mail with a fake government seal. However, the victims later realised that they had been duped after they did not receive the loan amount in their bank accounts and approached the firm’s office which was found locked, said the police, adding that thereafter they started calling Megha, who then approached the police.
The case was handed over to the crime unit who conducted raids and traced the suspects in Ahmedabad on Wednesday and brought them to Faridabad. The accused, Ajit and his aide Nitin, lived in rented accommodations in Noida and Delhi.
They were produced in the Faridabad district court after a case was registered against the duo under Section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act. The court sent the duo to three-day police remand for further investigation on Wednesday, said the police.
Police commissioner Rao said the accused would lure people by claiming to offer loans, ranging from ₹1 to ₹3 lakh at ‘lucrative’ terms and at a very nominal rate of interest.
“The accused would trap people by offering them a loan for starting their business and used to tell victims that they had to pay no instalments for the first seven months. For approval, they would charge a processing fee, ranging between 5% and 10% of the loan amount. The victims trusted them assuming that it was a public-private partnership,” Rao said on Thursday.
More than 300 Faridabad residents have fallen prey to the fraud, the police said.
The officer said that Ajit was the mastermind of the racket. He hired several ‘agents’ who made unsolicited phone calls complete with the generous ‘pitch’. They were operating from different states, the police said.
“The accused had procured disposable SIM cards for cold calling. We are investigating from which portal the call list had been obtained,” said Rao.