Seven persons of a gang were arrested for allegedly cheating 150 companies and several banks of lakhs of rupees by creating duplicate cheques and honouring them in fake accounts, police said.
Worli Police seized 550 cheques of 62 banks, 19 cheque books, 10 ATM cards, one laptop, two printers from the accused, Deputy Commissioner of Police Pravin Padwal said.
Seven accused–Aakash Raj Mulchandani alias Sunil Kumar Singh (22), Aakash Harish Ratchandani (27), Kafi Abdul Shekh alias Sonu Yadav (30), Faizan Rahman Sheikh (30), Ashif Imam Khan (33), Kishore Kanoujia alis Pande (34), Chandrakant Nangre (32)–have arrested, he said.
The accused are residents of Mira Road and Malad, except Ratchandani who is from Navi Mumbai, the officer added.
Faizan Shaikh was the mastermind of the racket, which they have been running since the last three years, and was the Vice President of the so-called ‘Human Rights Council of India’, he said.
The incident came into light when a Worli-based prominent company’s three cheques were returned by the Corporation Bank stating that these cheques worth Rs. 8.23 lakh had already been honoured, police said.
“This sent the company administration into a tizzy and they lodged a complaint against unidentified persons for cheating.
“During the probe, it came to light that the cheques were honoured in Lakshmi Vilas Bank in the account of one Sunilkumar Singh which had been created by submitting fake documents,” he said.
After collecting details from the bank, police started investigation and traced Sunilkumar Singh alias Akash Raj Mulchandani to Mira Road on October 12.
“During interrogation, he told the police that he was part of a racket which had been duping banks with forged cheques issued by various companies,” the official said.
Based on the information, police arrested the remaining accused.
Padwal said the accused, Chandrakant Nangre who was working with a courier company, used to click the photos of cheques sent by companies to their clients via courier. After clicking the pictures, Nangre used to send it to Faizan via WhatsApp.
“Faizan used to forward it to Asif, who had duplicate cheques of the bank in his possession. He used to remove the account number from these cheques and put another number belonging to Sunilkumar…with the help of computer and printer. The duplicate cheque then used to be deposited in a bank and encashed,” he said.
Further investigation into the case is on.