Three more FIRs were lodged last week in connection to the fake surety scam being probed by the Mumbai Police since October last year. With this, 12 FIRs have been lodged into the case.
This, after the crime branch wrote to 24 courtrooms across the city in December 2018, requesting that documents submitted by sureties — a person taking responsibility of another, in this case, ensuring they appear in court and follow its directions — while posting bails for defendants be verified. Local residents are allowed to stand as personal sureties in court for those seeking bail, provided they are of good character and after the police conduct a background verification.
On January 7 and 8, magistrates in courtrooms 26, 67 and 68 at Borivali magistrate court registered complaints with the police. Following this, the three FIRs were registered.
In October last year, eight members of a gang based in Chembur were arrested for allegedly providing fake personal identity documents, school and college marksheets and leaving certificates, proof of employment on letterheads of companies and forged copies of police verification of addresses. With the help of the information recovered from several laptops, the police identified cases where the gang’s network of local residents had posed as sureties for defendants across lower courts in Mumbai.
“A total of 12 FIRs have been registered across Mumbai. We have asked the concerned local police stations to probe the FIRs,” said a police officer.
One of the three new FIRs pertains to Borivali East resident Rakesh Beej (22), who had stood as a personal surety to help three men get bail in a case of assault that took place last year. At the time, Beej had also allegedly submitted a forged letter on the letterhead of a local Shiv Sena deputy shakha pramukh, claiming that he worked with him, besides his Aadhaar, PAN and ration cards. The magistrate in courtroom 68 directed the Kasturba Marg police station to probe Beej’s background. During investigation, the local Shiv Sena leader claimed that he did not know Beej. After the police submitted its report, the court concluded that Beej had submitted forged documents.
In the second case, the forgery was detected in courtroom 26. Malwani resident Riyaz Sayyad (23) had stood as a surety for a man accused of theft in Malad West in 2017. Among the documents he submitted in court was a letter stating that he was employed with a company providing crane services, a claim that proved to be false during investigation. These two FIRs were filed on January 7.
According to the third FIR, filed at Borivali police station on January 8, Govandi resident Mudatsar Nakhwa (25) had stood as a surety in courtroom 67 for two men from Gujarat in connection to a private complaint filed by a Malad-based property developer. The police later found that Nakhwa had submitted forged salary slips. “We have arrested one person and are looking for the accused named in the other two cases,” said Laxman Dumbare, senior Inspector, Borivali police.