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Man, aides booked in bank fraud

A Thane resident, desperate to own a house in Mumbai, recently forged documents to avail of a home loan of Rs 50 lakh from a leading
private sector bank. Fortunately, the bank's verification department smelt a rat and trapped the fraudster before he could collect the cheque.

Niranjan Pujari, who claimed to be a sharebroker, could not forget his dream of owning a house in the metropolis despite suffering losses in the stock market. So, he connived with two friends, Dilip Patil and Milind More, to create a set of forged documents which could be submitted to the bank for the loan.

They have been booked under Sections 34 (common intention), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC. The trio are out on bail after having paid the surety amount.

The police said Pujari submitted the loan application to the Ghatkopar branch of ICICI Bank in September 2008. Kiran Karnik, the complainant working with the vigilance department of the bank, said he doubted the genuineness of the documents from the beginning. In order to get to the truth, the bank called up Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to verify his employment details. "Company officials responded saying Reliance did not have a employee by the name of Pujari on its rolls''.

The bank officials then laid a trap to nab Pujari and his accomplices.
Accordingly, the bank asked Pujari to visit the bank branch and collect the cheque of Rs 50 lakh against the housing loan he had applied for.ICICI bank officials then handed over Pujari to the police, when the latter came to the branch to accept his cheque.

"During investigations, it was found that Pujari had managed to forge the salary payslip of Reliance. He had also copied the company's identity card,'' said police officials. Besides, he forged the pan card of his elder brother by superimposing his photograph on it, he added.

Police sources said Patil helped Pujari in forging the documents required for the housing loan. "More, who worked as an executive with ICICI Bank, forwarded Pujari's loan application despite being aware that the documents were all forged,'' an official said.



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