The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Loans lead to swindler arrest

He smooth-talked bankers into giving him hefty personal loans on fake documents. Once he got the money, he vanished. The law finally caught up with Arijit Mukherjee, 26, on Tuesday. Muchipara police rounded him up when he went to meet the manager of a Burrabazar bank to get a loan cheque.

Deputy commissioner of police (detective department) Soumen Mitra said Arijit’s father is a railway officer. Arijit lived with his parents on Balaram Ghosh Street. He is a habitual swindler and was caught by his father a few months earlier.

The father lodged an FIR against his son at Shyampukur police station and subsequently disinherited him. “Arijit was thrown out of the house. Without a shelter or a job, he wandered the streets and decided that the easiest route to money was by conning bank officials,’’ Mitra added.

According to investigations, Arijit changed his name and address frequently. He got fake ration cards made, as well as identification documents to open bank accounts. “He would apply for personal loans and get them. We suspect he duped several banks of several lakhs,” said a senior detective of the fraud section.

Deputy commissioner Mitra said recently, Arijit introduced himself to the manager of a public-sector bank in central Calcutta as Rohitabh Mukherjee, of 17A, Prinsep Street. He opened a savings account and told the manager he was a junior commercial officer in the railways.

Sleuths said Arijit faked railway salary slips, as well as other documents. Initially, transactions were heavy and he deposited and withdrew large sums. He would spend hours with the bank manager on Saturdays to gain his confidence, the sleuths added.

Arijit applied for a personal loan of Rs 45,000 last month. “He told bankmen he wanted to buy a car,’’ police said. His loan application was processed quicker than others’. He collected the cheque and withdrew the money. The manager, as a gesture of goodwill, decided to thank Arijit for taking the loan and sent him a letter to his Prinsep Street address.

The letter bounced back. “It was then that the manager got suspicious and sent an officer to verify Arijit’s antecedents. The officer reported that there was no one by that name at the Prinsep Street address,’’ Mitra said.

The bank called in the police. “We were told a youth was making the rounds of a Burrabazar bank for a loan. We laid a trap and arrested Arijit,’’ police said.

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