Fraudsters withdraw gas victims? money from banks
IN WHAT is turning out to be a huge racket, a gang of fraudsters has been found to have siphoned off the gas victims? compensation money worth lakhs from various banks by using forged cheques and fake seals of gas relief claim courts.india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 13:11 IST
IN WHAT is turning out to be a huge racket, a gang of fraudsters has been found to have siphoned off the gas victims’ compensation money worth lakhs from various banks by using forged cheques and fake seals of gas relief claim courts.
More than a dozen such fake cheques were en-cashed in a single branch of a bank in New Market and the police fear that gang members might have defrauded several banks to the tune of tens of lakhs.
Superintendent of Police Anant Kumar Singh said the fraud was detected at the State Bank of India’s Vindhyachal Branch that is the custodian of the money meant for the gas victims. Suspecting the quality of paper of the cheque it was scrutinised and found that not only the cheque but also the seal of the judicial officer on it was forged.
The police said the main accused, Dharmendra Sengar, a resident of Aish Bagh, had deposited the cheques in his account in a bank in New Market. Several cheques were deposited earlier and he had allegedly withdrawn Rs 5 lakh.
It was only when the two forged cheques were detected at the clearance house of the Vindhyachal Branch of SBI that the fraud came to light.
Surprisingly the accused had not only got fake cheques printed but also got a forged seal and even managed to get almost 15 such cheques en-cashed. Sengar hails from Etawah and was earlier working as a minibus driver.
He kept on depositing the forged cheques in his bank account and kept withdrawing the money, thereby siphoning off the money meant for the gas victims. Sengar alone had withdrawn Rs 5.16 lakh fraudulently and the police suspect that if it were so easy, the racketeers might have withdrawn huge amount from several banks.
The police have received information about similar frauds from some other banks also. The other suspects include Akram, Chhotelal, Saeed and Chandra Mohan, who also had opened accounts in banks but the police suspect that these identities could be fake. Sengar has reportedly been rounded up and efforts are on to catch the other culprits.
Even the police were taken by surprise at the ease with which the forged cheques were accepted and amount deposited in his account. That the cheats did not assume the identities of gas victims and still managed to take away the money has also put a question mark on the susceptibility of the banking system. The money, which was meant for gas-affected people, was withdrawn by others.
The accused persons will be charged with fraud, forged printing of cheque, impersonation, making fake seals and embezzlement. The TT Nagar police are holding talks with various banks in order to ascertain the enormity of the fraud.