38 ‘fake’ bank branches found in UP, 3 arrested
BHADOHI, Uttar Pradesh, May 21 (IANS) Bhadohi Police have arrested a gang operating 38 branches of a fake “bank” in eight districts of the state.
Three people, including the mastermind, were arrested.
Gang members used to lure customers to open accounts with their ‘bank’ by offering attractive returns, and cheated hundreds of gullible people out of more than 17 crore rupees.
Superintendent of Police Bhaduhi Anil Kumar said, “A joint team of Jainpur Police Station, Crime Branch and Cyber Cell have arrested Murari Kumar Nishad from Jaunpur and Ashok Kumar and Ramesh Jaiswal from Sonbhadra. So far, we have found details of 38 branches operating in eight districts of the state as ‘BSMJ Quasi Bank’. Also, details of the fraud of ₹17 crore across several thousand ‘bank’ accounts were revealed. Murari has emerged as the ringleader during the investigation.”
According to the official, while Murari and Ashok presented themselves as managing directors of the ‘Bank’, Ramesh played the role of branch manager.
Police confiscated three four-wheelers, three laptops, Rs 36,000, desktop computers, 53 stamps, 70 records, 618 notebooks and many other documents worth Rs 67.25 from the fraudsters.
Kumar said the ‘Bank’ came on the radar of the Bhadohi police when people in areas where ‘Bank’ officials had stopped making payments for various schemes and other transactions started to complain to the police.
“When the complaints started piling up, I formed a special investigation team, which checked the credentials of the bank in consultation with the officials of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of the Government of India, the registrars, funds and other concerned departments,” the SP said.
After it was found that this bank was operating fraudulently, details of the persons involved in its launch and operation were collected.
The training lasted three months and ended with the arrest of Murari, Ashok and Ramesh.
Apart from eight districts in eastern UP, where they had 38 branches, they also targeted innocent people in remote areas of Jharkhand and other neighboring states.
Not only did the gang engage agents to convince people to make investments, but they also ran their branches in a proper setup like normal banks. They used to pay the due amount of their schemes after making lucrative offers but after making sure that no new accounts were opened in a particular location, they used to close the branch and run away.
The police said that Monarch Murari married two women, who lived in luxurious homes and kept expensive cars, adding that the process of freezing all bank accounts of the gang members is also underway in light of the ongoing investigation.