The Mumbai Police on Sunday rounded off the final accused in a bogus cheque racket that duped several businessmen in Mumbai. Police said the fraud came to light when a private firm based in Worli approached the local police station claiming that it could not deposit three cheques to a bank as the cheques were fraudulently deposited.
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“The concerned bank informed the private firm that the three cheques they were trying to deposit were already credited according to the banks records and the serial numbers of the cheques submitted. Subsequently, a case of cheating was registered by the Worli police as the firm claimed they were duped of Rs 8.23 lakh,” said a police officer.
Like most big business houses in South Mumbai, the concerned private firm too used to deposit or deliver money to its lenders through a South Mumbai-based courier service.
“We went through transaction history of the private firm and found that they also used a courier service. We further narrowed it down to the courier boy, Chandrakant Nangre, who delivered the cheque on the day the company claims to be duped. During inquiry, Nangre revealed a bogus cheque racket that has been operational for almost two years,” an investigator said.
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Investigations led the police to the owner of a travel agency in Mira Road area.
The owner ran the entire racket and had roped in at least six other persons.
“When the courier boy used to get the cheque, he would take a picture and send it to Kishor Kanojiya (34) for him to duplicate,” said Pravin Padwal, Zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Police said Kanojiya used two computer software to duplicate the cheque and would only changed the serial number of the bogus ones he generated.
“Once Kanojiya made the cheques, he deposited them to bank accounts that he asked other accused to open specifically for this bogus cheque to be deposited in. Two transactions would be deducted from the victim’s account,” said a police officer.
Besides Kanojiya and Nangre, the police have arrested five other persons — Akash Moolchand (22), Akash Ratchandani (28), Faizan Sheikh (30), Kafi Abdul Sheikh (30) and Asif Khan (33).
“In our search, we have found 550 lose cheques from the 62 banks and 19 cheque books. Also, a few debit cards were found which were used to withdraw the money from the bogus bank accounts,” an officer said.