The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gang of six in bank fraud net
- Home-loan bid turns bitter for cheats, cops sound dupe alert

Police busted a gang responsible for cheating a bank in Salt Lake of Rs 15 lakh. Six persons have been arrested and an investigation is on to ascertain whether they were involved in other such criminal activities.

This July, Manish Dutta, Debashish Chanda, Sahana Roy and Dhananjoy Sharma approached a nationalised bank’s Labony branch in Salt Lake for a home loan of Rs 15 lakh.

“They presented an unfinished construction site in Teghoria and sought a loan from the bank to build a house,” said Arup Roy, inspector-in-charge (IC) of Bidhannagar North police station.

Manish first got in touch with the bank and sought a home-building loan of Rs 5 lakh for a Teghoria property, elaborated Roy. Later, other members of the dupe gang sought an additional Rs 10 lakh from the same bank. The loan was disbursed as there was apparently no irregularity, but bank officials soon became suspicious. A thorough probe revealed “serious irregularities” in the documents the group had produced while pitching for the loan.

A complaint was lodged with the police, who arrested Manish, Debashish, Sahana and Dhananjoy. Later, two more of their accomplices were rounded up, all from Baranagar and the airport police station area on Monday morning.

According to police sources, the gang members had used false names and addresses in their dealings with the bank. “We have, however, been able to ascertain their real names and addresses. We are looking at whether this gang was involved in such fraudulent activities earlier,” IC Roy said.

“Quite a number of such fraud cases have taken place in Salt Lake recently,” said Sujay Chanda, sub-divisional police officer of Salt Lake. Few had, however, been reported, making it tough for the police to bust such rackets. “It is difficult to prevent such crimes unless victims of fraud come forward to lodge a complaint,” said Chanda.

Police also said that even though several such frauds had been arrested recently, this had not deterred other gangs about to cheat their way to the bank.

“We also feel that if the bank authorities take a bit more care in checking the documents submitted to them and, maybe, give them to us for verification before finalising a deal, such crimes can be curbed,” suggested Roy.

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