Days after the Panchkula police busted a racket of fake MBBS admissions with the arrest of two accused, the role of nine banks has come under the scanner. The accused had maintained accounts in these banks using the name of a Maharashtra-based medical institute to dupe MBBS aspirants and their parents.
The Panchkula police had arrested two accused — Sumeet Garg alias Ishwar and Pankaj Garg alias Mahender — on July 17 on the complaint of a Gurgaon resident, Om Prakash, who alleged that the two had cheated him out of over Rs 17 lakh on the pretext of providing admission to his child in MBBS.
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Another accomplice of the two, Ashok Garg, Sumit’s brother-in-law, was also arrested by the police days later. All three were booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code at the Mansa Devi police station for allegedly acting as the fake proprietors of the institute and duping people.
With the accused alleged to have cheated over 50 such parents of several lakhs of rupees, the nine banks in Chandigarh and Panchkula where they maintained accounts have also come under the police scanner for their alleged criminal complicity.
The accused had maintained as many as nine accounts using the name of the Maharashtra-based Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, in different banks. Parents seeking admission of their children in MBBS programme under the management quota used to deposit money in these accounts using demand drafts.
“The bankers should have verified credentials of the person before opening an account in the name of the institute. But they seem to have not followed the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. To add to it, monthly transactions of over Rs 50 lakh were taking place in some of the accounts, which should have alerted the bank authorities to get a check done on the account holders. But no such step was taken, which casts a veil of suspicion on the role of the banks, as they ended up facilitating the crime,” said Commissioner of Police (Ambala-Panchkula) O P Singh.
Apart from investigating the alleged criminal complicity of the banks, the police had also zeroed in on two Chandigarh-based chartered accountants who had allegedly certified that the accused are bonafide proprietors of the institute. “There is a basic requirement of trust, and the banks should have adhered to it. So, we have started the investigation to track the alleged involvement,” said Singh.
According to the police, the accused have duped over 50 MBBS aspirants and their parents of several lakhs of rupees, with the total money slated to be in crores. The accused used to operate from a shop-cum-office (SCO) in MDC and allegedly lured parents through SMS by assuring an admission of their child in management quota in the Maharashtra-based institute.
Apart from Panchkula, there have been several complaints against the accused in Gurgaon, where some parents alleged that the accused have duped them. Police sources reveal that the accused were arrested in Gurgaon in 2013, but were released later, following which they shifted base to Panchkula.