Sabarinath named accused in case

The 43-year-old man, who stood sullen and silent in a corner of the Vanchiyoor police station, had several identities till Tuesday afternoon.

That was when the police, after a protracted investigation, arrested him and, later, an associate of his, on the charge of having “profitably” used their “multiple identities” to stand surety in court for accused persons seeking bail in criminal cases, notably alleged money-chain fraudster Sabarinath (in nine cases). The police have named Sabarinath also as an accused in the “bail fraud” racket case.

According to C. Mohanan, Sub Inspector, Crime, the prime suspect, N. Gopakumar, and his associate K. Sudheesh had used almost the same set of fake identifies and forged revenue documents to help their “clients.”

The duo had, for a substantial fee, also “helped” scores of law breakers of relatively “lesser notoriety” to get bail easily, he said.

The police displayed several forged voter identity cards with different names (but the same set of photographs) which they said they had seized from the accused.

Among the “material evidence” collected by the police were scores of “forged” and yellowing land deeds and property tax receipts.The police said the accused charged their “clients” Rs.10,000 and upwards for their “services.” Their fee depended on the gravity of the offence and the urgency of the accused to get enlarged on bail. The “bail fraud” racket came to light when a currency-counterfeiting case accused, for whom the accused had stood as surety in 1998, failed to appear when the case came up for trial November last.

The court's summons servers could not find the sureties for the addresses they had furnished were false. So were the revenue documents and identity cards they had deposited as bail indemnity in court. Finally, the photographs on the fake identity cards led the police to the suspects. The police said the arrest of the suspects was just the tip of the ice-berg. Investigators said at least 50 persons operating on the fringes of the criminal justice system benefitted from the “bail fraud” racket in the district.

A prosecutor said the judiciary should prepare a “black list” of such errant men to prevent law- breakers from taking advantage of the anomalies in the system, chiefly the delay in verifying the authenticity of documents presented as security in court. Assistant Commissioner K.S. Vimal and Sub Inspector S. Suresh Babu supervised the investigation.