Probe into a credit card fraud busted by Mumbai Police, in which bank accounts of tribal women in Jharkhand were allegedly used to make fraudulent transfers, has revealed that the accused made transactions worth nearly Rs 79 lakh over a period of a year using 13 different bank accounts belonging to tribal women.
The police busted the racket several months ago and investigations are still under way. In January, the Cuffe Parade police arrested Vikas Das, Subhal Hiralal Das and Mustaq Maqbool Ansari from Jamtara district in Jharkhand in connection with the case. Three more accused remain absconding: Ranjeet Das, Suraj Das and Naveen Das. The police said the arrested accused had convinced the tribal women to open the bank accounts, while those absconding made calls to credit card holders and defrauded them.
In September last year, a case was registered at the Cuffe Parade police station after a businessman, Manoj Solanki, reported being defrauded of Rs 47,600 by a tele-caller. “The caller had claimed that his card would be blocked as he had failed to follow the new norms under GST, following which the caller asked for his bank account details. The amount debited from his account was credited into a tribal woman’s account,” said a police officer.
Investigations led the police to Nildaha village in Jharkhand. “As part of our investigation, we checked the bank account to which the money was transferred and, accordingly, we obtained the details of the account holder. In December last year, we sent a team to Nildaha village,” said sub-inspector Vishal Gaikwad.
The account belonged to an elderly woman. The account showed transactions totalling Rs 20 lakh, money she had no knowledge of, the police said.
After inquiries, police found out that in February 2017, a group of men had organised a survey in the village and collected documents from several tribal women, promising that they would get cash in their new accounts under a government scheme.
“They posed as government officials and told these tribal women that they were eligible for money under different government schemes, for which they had to open bank accounts. However, after opening the accounts on the basis of their documents, the three fled with their passbooks and debit cards, claiming they would return after the money was deposited by the government,” the officer said.
These accounts were then used in a series of credit card frauds. Investigations are currently underway to find more victims of the fraud.