Meerut police on Saturday claimed to have busted a gang of online money launderers. Superintendent of Police Arvind Pandey said two men, Neeraj Chauhan alias Raj Valmiki and Amit Sharma were nabbed on Friday, while a hunt is on for others.
The group specialised in conning people across States — Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh — by putting out newspaper advertisements about its firm, Mangalam Finance, which offered to provide large loans easily via e-mail. It ran offices in Meerut, Delhi and Gurgaon, which were eventually shut down after a few months.
Amit, a BSc graduate who can speak fairly good English, admitted that he, along with absconding accomplice Sumit Kumar, an IT expert, had conned about 200 people of several crores of rupees, police said.
The gang’s modus operandi was to ask the client to deposit, along with scanned copies of necessary documents, one per cent of the loan amount as processing charges in a bank account. Once the fee was received, the e-mail would become inaccessible. These bank accounts were traced to Meerut.
The scheme was brought to light after Chennai-based transporter S. Kumar e-mailed a complaint to the city’s crime branch that he had been defrauded of Rs.10 lakh — one per cent of the loan he had applied for through Mangalam Finance, which had stop responding to his e-mails.