Cops bust two loan-guzzling rackets run by scam artists

Mulund police have arrested two groups of people for allegedly taking large loans from banks and financial institutes by submitting forged documents.

Sham-ful: Mulund police officers recovered a number of fake electricity bills, ration cards, tax papers, credit and debit cards from the arrested fraudsters; mastermind of the car loan fraud, Pankaj Chavre (in brown shirt). Pic/Rajesh Gupta

In the first swindle, a group of eight conned a bank of Rs 1.36 crore, and in the second, three people embezzled an electronics store and a finance company of R1.8 lakh, after submitting fake paperwork.

Fake agents
Cops said the first gang duped more than 12 local banks by providing them duplicate certificates while procuring car loans. Eight of the accused have been taken into custody. The main players have been identified as Pankaj Chavre (35), Abdul Raut (42) and Vijay Khidbide (30) -- they were arrested for the first time. The others, Vijay Dhamle (45), Santosh Naik (40), Prashant Gangudre (30), Sameer Bhulbal (31) and Ravindra Jadhav (27), were arrested earlier in similar cases.

Speaking to MiD DAY, assistant inspector Dilip Dhamunse of Mulund police station said, “Chavre is the mastermind of the operation, and opened Dynamic Motors which was a front for his activities, while Raut and Khidbide started Sunshine and Golden Motors respectively. They have been running the scam under these firms’ names. Apart from the banks, they have also duped many private individuals who approached them for quick car loans.”

Dhamunse added, “As they were working under a company’s banner, people went to them for quick loans after which Chavre, Raut and Khidbide would act like agents, approach banks and take a 50% commission from the people.”

Officials arrested Chavre on September 18, following which Raut and Khidbide were arrested. The police team seized more than 150 passport-size photographs, 17 credit and debit cards and a stack of power bills, ration cards, bank statements and tax papers from them.

Cops said the trio has duped UCO bank alone of Rs 1.36 crore. Investigators are yet to ascertain the money lost by other banks, as cases have been registered against them in Rabale, Ulhasnagar, Dombivli and Naupada areas.

White lies
The Mulund police also arrested another three people, identified as Kapil Arora (22), Jayesh Bhilare (25) and Milind Koshi (24) for purchasing goods from an electronics outlet on an EMI basis by submitting forged documents.

The trio applied for loans through a finance company as they intended to buy an LED TV and an iPhone. After some time, the finance firm officials sensed something amiss and approached the police station.

“The company called the three accused for a meeting, stating it had something to inquire of them. On Saturday, when the accused showed up at the venue for the meet, the police arrived there at the same time and nabbed the trio,” said an officer. 

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