Couple cry loan fraud
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- Published 20.11.13
A couple have allegedly been duped of Rs 48,000 with one of the four signed blank cheques they had given to an agent of a private finance company as security against a loan being encashed last Saturday.
Police said the Rajarhat couple — Prosenjit and Rajoshi Gupta — did not mark the cheques “account payee” or write the name of the private bank that had issued the car loan on them. The bank has outsourced the loan processing job to the finance company.
Banks usually ask for three signed blank cheques for security while issuing loans, said a bank official. “The customer has to mark the cheques ‘account-payee’ and write the name of the bank on them. The bank has the option to deposit the cheques if a customer defaults on repayment. If a cheque is not honoured, the customer can be dragged to court.”
The police complaint lodged by the Guptas stated that they had handed over four signed blank cheques to Darpan Modak, who they identified as an agent with Bignesh Capital, in September. The couple alleged that Modak had asked them to submit four cheques.
According to the complaint, Rs 48,000 had been debited from Prasenjit’s account using one of the four cheques.
“I received a text message from my bank, alerting me about the debit. I went to the Kankurgachhi branch where the cheque had been cashed and found that the person who withdrew the money had forged my signature on the back of the cheque,” said Gupta, who teaches computer science at the Heritage Institute of Technology at Anandapur, off the Bypass.
He said he called up an official of the finance company, who sent him an email with a scanned image of a letter bearing his signature, stating he had deposited three blank cheques.
“We have started an inquiry and will interrogate the agent as well as officials of the agency,” said a senior police officer.
“We have also contacted the Kankurgachhi branch and sought CCTV footage.”
An official of the finance company said: “We got only three blank cheques from Gupta. We have sent whatever we got from Gupta to the bank.”
Gupta said someone from the loan department of the bank called him on Tuesday evening and said they had caught hold of Modak and he had “admitted to the crime”.
Bank officials and the police did not confirm Gupta’s claim when Metro called them late on Tuesday evening.
be on your guard
● Write bank’s name on the cheque and mark it ‘account payee’
● Get in touch with the loan-issuing bank before handing any cheque or document to a third party
● Notify your bank manager the numbers of the cheques given to an agent
● Keep photocopies of the cheques