The Thane Police Crime Branch has arrested a gang of six who would allegedly provide bogus sureties and forged documents for people applying for bail.
The police said the accused operated outside various courts in Thane district and have been active for at least a year.
According to police officials, the six accused were picked up after the Ulhasnagar Unit of the Crime Branch received a tip-off. Three of them were picked up from outside the Kalyan court last week, and their questioning led the police to the other three accused.
“The accused would convince people to stand as surety for arrested people who wished to get bail, and would then provide forged documents like ration cards or gram panchayat tax receipts to these sureties to hide their true identities,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Deoraj, Thane Crime Branch, said.
Over the next one week, the police recovered 45 rubber stamps, 51 bogus ration cards and 318 forged gram panchayat tax receipts from the accused.
The police have also found some bogus Aadhaar cards, which were used to obtain the ration cards. The gram panchayat tax receipts were made in a printing press in Ulhasnagar and the rubber stamps of various government offices were sourced from Solapur, the police said.
Mr. Deoraj said, “This seems to be a well-organised racket and the accused have helped 125 to 150 people arrested in various cases secure bail in the last one year. We are identifying the people who have benefited from this racket.”
Investigating officers said the accused would depend on word-of-mouth publicity for their racket, and would charge whatever money the family members of the bail-seekers were able to pay them. They would look for people within their own circle of acquaintance to appear as sureties and convince them to take part in the offence by offering them a share of the profits.