The couple who have been arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police for allegedly swindling Rs.500 crore from over 2 lakh investors on false promises of spectacular returns had opened nearly 100 accounts in different banks, all apparently on fake identification papers. The police will probe the suspected culpability of the bank officials concerned in having allowed the accused to open the accounts on assumed identities and thereby allowing the couple to carry out their nefarious designs.
As the probe into the racket allegedly being run by Ulhas Prabhakar Khaire and his wife Raksha J. Urs gathers pace, the EOW has tracked down most of the accounts operated by the “masters in the art of deceit and disguise”. At least four reputed private banks having branches in various pockets of Dwarka, including Sectors 5 and 6, and in Palam have been identified where the accused had opened multiple accounts under different names and identities.
Veracity of papers
Police sources said in all the accounts, they have used their own photographs. However, their names and particulars either vary or are completely different. The accused have opened six to 20 such accounts in each branch, which is of a great concern to the investigators. “It is astounding how the two were able to open so many accounts with the same branch under various aliases. Preliminary investigations have suggested that the identification documents, like PAN cards and driving licences used to open the accounts were forged. Had the bank officials cross-checked veracity of the basic papers, the accused could not have been allowed to open these accounts. Besides, the fraud could have been detected long back,” said a police officer.
Stating that the police would probe into this aspect, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Goel on Wednesday said: “We will verify if the documents were fraudulently obtained or were simply forged. Investigations would definitely be carried out to ascertain whether there is any culpability on the part of the bank officers concerned.”
Police officers involved in the investigations said in several cases, they had found a similar “slackness” on the part of banks that eventually facilitates perpetration of white collar crimes.
The EOW has so far traced 25 cases involving the couple registered in different parts of the country. “We have information suggesting more cases against them. The level at which they were running the entire show is mind-boggling. They were riding the greed of victims for maximum returns on short-term investments. The accused held meetings of potential investors in luxury hotels, maintained a high-flying lifestyle to impress them and claimed to have obtained educational and professional qualifications from reputed universities,” said a police source.
While the police have so far made seizures of properties and cash to the tune of Rs.63 crore, they have also identified 15 vehicles said to have been purchased by the couple. The probe team has tracked down the investments made by the accused in the properties in Delhi, Goa, Bhiwadi in Rajasthan and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh besides Nagpur and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. Some bank accounts allegedly opened by the couple in Ratnagiri are also under the scanner.
There are indications that more persons having suspected links with the purported masterminds are under the police scanner and may soon be summoned for explanations.
According to the police, the couple -- who were on the run since April 2011 and were finally arrested in Ratnagiri -- had set up at least seven financial institutions, including Stock Guru India, to deceive innocent investors into paying up huge sums of money on the promise of a whopping 20 per cent return per month on their invested money for the first six months and a full refund of the principal amount after seven months. The investments ranged from Rs.10,000 to over Rs.1 crore. A large number of victims are from the lower and middle income groups.