The Coimbatore Crime Branch police led by Inspector S. Chandramohan arrested four persons on charges of duping a city-based entrepreneur.

The police said that D. Selvaraj (48), and his accomplices G. Srikanth (32), Sudhir Devram (26), and V. Ramalingam (41), used S. Devaraj’s account to transfer and withdraw stolen money.

Mr. Devaraj (23), an emu farm owner and realtor, had, through friends, approached Selvaraj for loan for tide over his financial crisis.

Sensing Mr. Devaraj’s urgency in need for money, Selvaraj asked him if he could use his account to transfer money.

After Mr. Devaraj agreed, Selvaraj and his friends transferred Rs. 2.41 lakh and with his help withdrew the money.

Then a few days later, Selvaraj gave Mr. Devaraj a blank signed cheque of a nationalised bank to withdraw the money he had sought as loan. He told Mr. Devaraj that he could withdraw up to Rs. 1.20 crore.

Mr. Devaraj, who runs a realty firm in Sivananda Colony, took the cheque to the bank’s Coimbatore branch to verify if it was genuine. There he learnt that the cheque was a colour photocopy of a cheque that belonged to an account that was opened in Haridwar.

Soon after this shock, came another from his bank.

The bankers told him that the Rs. 2.41 lakh he withdrew was stolen from a Chennai account and that he ought to repay it at the earliest to avoid penal action. The police said Mr. Devaraj somehow managed to repay the money.

The two transactions raised strong suspicion in his mind about the credibility of Selvaraj and his business. And when the third time Selvaraj approached him, Mr. Devaraj with the help of friends handed him over to the police.

The police, following interrogation, arrested the other three accused.

The police said that the four – all from Mumbai – were in the business of phishing account information, stealing money and then using friends or gullible people to withdraw the money. The police said that they had slapped Sections 468, 471, 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

Inspector Mr. Chandramohan said that people should not share their bank account-related information or let others use their account for any transaction, unless they were sure of the other person’s credibility and business.

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