Mumbai: Conman, who used 'erasable ink' on cheques to cheat people, nabbed

Cops say the conman would hand a pen with erasable ink to customers to write cheques, then add a new amount and withdraw the money; the mastermind is still at large

The Kasturba Marg police in Borivli (E) have arrested a person involved in a racket, in which many people were cheated across the country on the pretext of being helped to collect the maturity amounts of insurance policies. Cops claimed that they have arrested the Mumbai agent of the ringleader who is in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, and still at large.

Dhirendrakumar Singh, the mastermind who is at large, (right) Jigar Karelia, the Mumbai agent of Singh, was arrested
Dhirendrakumar Singh, the mastermind who is at large, (right) Jigar Karelia, the Mumbai agent of Singh, was arrested

The arrested accused has been identified as Jigar Dhirajlal Karelia (31). The mastermind has been identified as Dhirendrakumar Baniram Singh alias Viren Singh Bansal alias Sandeepkumar (27) a resident of Hapur.

“A team has been sent to arrest Singh in UP but he is still not traceable,” said an officer from Kasturba Marg police station.

A retired engineer from BARC, D K Gandhi had registered a complaint in March this year, as the accused managed to withdraw Rs 49,000 from his bank, by tampering with the cheque that he had issued as his fees.

“Like all criminals who leave a clue behind for the cops, Karelia too did this. While withdrawing the money he gave his PAN card details to the bank officials. We traced his details through the number and he was arrested,” said Assistant Police Inspector Bharat Ghone from Kasturba Marg police station.

Police said inquiries revealed that Singh worked for several insurance companies and also had applied to Uttar Pradesh police.

Singh has agents like Karelia in other states also, that visit victims’ homes after he provides information. Karelia confessed to the crime and also revealed that like Gandhi, they have cheated more than 20 people in the city.

On searching his house, police recovered many cancelled cheques and various companies’ insurance policies in the names of different people Ghone added.

Modus operandi
Before quitting his job, Singh had stolen the data of several customers whose policies had matured and some who were waiting for the maturity of their Fixed Deposit (FD).

Equipped with the data, Singh would call customers, posing as an officer from the insurance company. He promised to get their work done without any hassle and in turn took a cancelled cheque and another cheque of Rs 300 from them.

According to the police, the accused ensured that he offered his pen to the customers for filling the cheque details. “The pen used to have ink that could be easily erased. The accused then erased all the data apart from the signatures on the cheque, and then put the amount he wanted. The amount usually remained within Rs 50,000 to ensure that the cash could be withdrawn without much hassle,” added Ghone.

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