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Woman held for gold loan fraud admits to more

A couple residing in Dhanakawadi cheated banks and financial institutions of several lakhs by submitting fake documents under assumed identities, and depositing fake jewellery to avail loans.

Kanchan Somwanshi (38) was arrested in February for availing a loan of Rs 6.28 lakh against fake gold ornaments from HDFC Bank, while her husband Nandkumar Somwanshi is still at large.

Kanchan confessed during questioning that she and her husband duped two other banks and one finance firm between May 2011 and February 2012, using the same modus operandi. The banks and firms are HDFC, Development Credit Bank, Federal Bank and Muthoot Finance.


All that glitters... The Warje-Malwadi branch of Muthoot Finance, from where Kanchan Somwanshi (inset) confessed to taking a Rs 70,000 loan by depositing fake gold ornaments. Pic/Sandip Kolhatkar 

The police said that the couple had used fake names and documents each time they approached a bank or financial firm.

Kanchan posed as Sunita Pawar and Kanchan Ankushe, while her husband produced documents in the name of Appa Gavare.

Sunil Darekar, senior police inspector with Warje-Malwadi police station said, “Kanchan was first arrested by Khadak police station in February, where she and her elusive husband duped HDFC bank to the tune of 6.28 lakh by taking the loan against fake gold. The bank later realized that the gold was fake and lodged a complaint.”

Darekar added that after Kanchan’s arrest, investigations revealed that the couple had opened savings accounts by submitting fake documents and used the same modus operandi to dupe Development Credit Bank in Deccan-Gymkhana police station jurisdiction.

“The couple had taken a loan of Rs 1.24 lakh against fake gold from DCB and another HDFC Bank branch in Navi Peth between May 11, 2011 and February 22, 2012,” Darekar said.
“They submitted loan applications under fake names and also submitted a forged driving license, and deposited fake gold ornaments and took loans,” said S R Shirke, assistant police inspector of Khadak police station.

The Federal Bank in Sahakarnagar police station jurisdiction has also registered a complaint against Sunita, who had duped them of Rs 9.15 lakh.

Speaking to this reporter, Darekar said, “Currently, Kanchan is in custody of the Warje-Malwadi police and we will take custody of her shortly.”

Kanchan is also accused of duping Muthoot Finance Corp branch at Warje to the tune of Rs 70,000 by depositing fake gold ornaments on July 21 last year. Branch manager Sanjay Jain had lodged a complaint against Kanchan after the bank’s evaluators discovered that the gold ornaments deposited by the suspect were fake.

Jain said that Kanchan approached the loan officer at the branch on July 21, posing as Sunita Pawar. She told the officer that she wanted to take loan against her gold ornaments as soon as possible as her husband was in hospital.

“We hurriedly checked the purity of the gold and gave her a loan of Rs 70,000. Even after several months she did not turn up to repay the loan, so we sent our people to the address mentioned while taking the loan, but no person named Sunita Pawar was residing there. After our gold evaluators checked the purity of the gold thoroughly, they came to know that the ornaments were fake,” Jain said. He added that immediately after that a complaint was lodged with the police.

Darekar has appealed to banks that have been duped in a similar fashion, to approach the police station to verify if they have been duped by the same woman. 

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