Thane: Thirty-nine persons, including an automobile dealer, have been booked for allegedly cheating a nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 3.7 crore by securing loan for vehicle purchase on forged documents, police said today.

Based on a complaint lodged by N A Dusane, chief manager with the zonal office of the Bank of Maharashtra at Thane, police have begun a probe into the matter, they said.

According to the complainant, in September 2013, it was noticed that the outstanding of the vehicle loans was too high in the bank's Dombivili branch. When the official looked into the matter, it was found that in 2012, one Sunil Madalkar had taken a loan of Rs 14 lakh from the bank for the purchase of a car. The amount of loan was directly credited to the account of Mauli Automotive. Fake quotations and documents were allegedly prepared and submitted to the bank to get the loan approved, police said quoting the complaint.

A further probe into the matter revealed that Madalkar had not presented the purchase papers for the car to the bank and the same was not recorded in any Registration Certificate (RC) book by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). He (Madalkar) did not purchase the car at all. He along with the owner of Mauli Automotive, Nitin P Dongre, had allegedly connived and duped the bank to the tune of Rs 14 lakh in this case, police said.

Subsequent inquiry by the bank official revealed that in the same manner, 37 other persons had also connived with the automobile dealer and cheated the bank under the garb of purchasing a car and obtained loan from the bank, they said. These people cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 3,77,71,351, police said, adding that the Economic Offences Wing of

Thane police was probing the case. An offence was yesterday registered by the Dombivili police under sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467, 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 r.w 34 of the IPC against the 39 persons, including Madalkar and Dongre, they added.