Physical appearance matters more in certain pursuits than others — media, entertainment, modelling, and, of course, crime. Badlapur (West) police from Thane has arrested a man who wasn’t renowned for his good looks, but rather for his versatility.
According to cops, the accused altered his guise on at least 23 different occasions and cheated several banks of large sums. Two of his accomplices have also been held and an assistant manager of a nationalised bank may be apprehended soon.
On Friday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr Shivaji Rathod and Assistant Commissioner of police Mahesh Chimte held a media briefing on the developments.
Those arrested have been identified as Mansoor Umar Wadkar alias Pravin Ashok Shirsat (36), Vikas alias Vicky alias Guru Arjun Dohle (27) and Sachin Jagannath Wagh (30). Wadkar a resident of Mumbra is the main accused. Sources say Wagh has an LLB degree.
On September 15, the accused opened an account in the Badlapur branch of Bank of India (BOI) using phoney documents.
On September 17, they deposited a cheque of Rs 2,76,058 from the Ambernath branch of United Western Bank and withdrew the amount on September 19.
Rohini Vasant Pradhan, the branch manager at BOI suspected foul play and informed the police. Senior Inspector Dilip Patil formed a special team comprising Suresh Mohite, Yuvraj Salgude, GG More, Dilip Shirsat and others.
On September 25, the first accused was arrested. The court has remanded all three in police custody till October 3.
Police say the offenders first stole cheques from various banks and later opened accounts using alaises in another.
They deposited the cheques in these accounts and withdrew the money after a few days. They prepared bogus documents for opening these accounts.
Cops have seized several ration cards, PAN cards, ATM cards, chequebooks, a DTP machine, a computer, a printer, SIM cards, mobile phones and other government documents from the miscreants.
The other accused
The police also arrested Vikas alias Vicky alias Guru Arjun Dohle (27) and (below) Sachin Jagannath Wagh for the crimes.