8 held in Rs 1 cr education loan scamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/8-held-in-rs-1-cr-education-loan-scam/

8 held in Rs 1 cr education loan scam

The police said the gang had cheated almost 500 students of over Rs 1 crore in the last year.

The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police has arrested eight persons,including five women,for allegedly running an educational loan racket. The police said the gang had cheated almost 500 students of over Rs 1 crore in the last year.

The accused were arrested from their office in Parmanand Colony in Mukherjee Nagar on Thursday by the Special Investigation Team. The gang created several fictitious finance firms and had fake email IDs for each company,the police said.

The racket was allegedly led by Varun Sardana (24),a former employee of a multinational bank,Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Neeraj Thakur said. Sardana reportedly left his job to get into crime and involved two of his school friends — Himanshu Sharma (21) and Sunny Pal (22). He also hired five women aged between 19 and 27 and trained them. “He taught them how to sell the story of easy education loans over the phone,” said an officer. He also rented an office space and advertised extensively in local dailies. “The ads featured low interest rates for student loans and contact numbers. When a prospective client called,he/she was asked to deposit between Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 as processing fee in a certain bank account. The victim was also asked to scan and mail all relevant educational certificates to the company email ID,” said an officer.

“In some cases the victim demanded a meeting with one of the company executives. In such cases,Varun or Himanshu would meet the victim outside a North Campus college,” said the officer.

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“The victim was finally asked to deposit the first installment of the required loan amount in a given bank account before the loan was processed,” said an officer. When the money was transferred,the mobile numbers of the company would go out of service. The gang also kept changing its office location every couple of months.

The gang was operating through 26 mobile phones and 16 bank accounts at the SBI,PNB,Bank of

India,Union Bank and Axis Bank,opened on fake documents. “We found 25 unused Vodafone SIM cards,32 unused Idea SIM cards and 18 ATM cards,” said the police officer.