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Economic Offences Wing Arrests Big Fishes Hawala Operator, Multi Crore Scheme Fraudsters In 2020

The EOW arrested a big fish Naresh Jain for alleged offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. The Interpol had also issued red corner notices against him.

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The Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing has saw a surge of the white collar crime cases in the national capital and the recent cases registered and investigated by the EOW show that over 800 complaints were received by the agency and 243 persons were arrested in 2020 various economic offences. The EOW arrested big fishes in the net in hawala trading and multi crore financial, housing and property frauds.

The EOW, headed by Jt CP OP Mishra, cracked some big cases in 2020 and made prominent arrests from international hawala kingpin to multi crore housing and property frauds in 2020.

JCP Mishra stated that EOW launched their website ‘Vimarsh’ where the citizens can file online complaints and officers are being trained in document management system. The system is linked with the integrated complaints management system of the Delhi Police.

The EOW registered 67 builder related frauds, 20 DDA land pooling frauds, 39 intercompany business fraud, 31 multi-mortgage of Property Frauds, 20 ponzi schemes/chit fund frauds, 18 bank/NBFC frauds and 17 cooperative group housing frauds.

The EOW arrested a big fish Naresh Jain for alleged offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. The Interpol had also issued red corner notices against him.

Jain had incorporated hundreds of trading and tour travel companies were incorporated by Naresh Jain in the name of persons recruited by him for the purpose of carrying out the circular trading, accommodation entry to show bogus turn over and hawala transactions. He was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau in May 2009 and also arrested by Enforcement Directorate in PMLA case.

Another important case probed by the EOW involved a DDA land pooling policy fraud of Rs. 140 crores.

The EOW stated that this is a fraud in which people invested in various housing schemes without verifying the credentials of the societies and physical verification of the land. None of these societies had obtained necessary permissions from the concerned authorities for undertaking housing projects. Investments were made by the victims merely after seeing the advertisements, which has not been formally notified by DDA yet. Most of these societies came up in Dwarka and adjoining areas.

14 persons have been arrested. 630 persons had invested in these housing scemes.

The officials added that this kind of housing fraud surfaced for the first time due to excessive housing demand by people in Delhi.

Similar fraud was registered in connection with the Amrapali Group. 36 cases registered against Amrapali Group of 14 persons were arrested and 10 charge-sheets have been filed in such cases.

The EOW also arrested three accused namely Aniel Kumar Saha, Aunirban Saha, and Ashok Kumar Sirohi, directors of a group housing society M/S Saha Infratech Pvt. Ltd. These persons had allegedly cheated a total number of 20 victims to the tune of Rs 25.44 Crores by promising huge returns in their housing project.

Similar housing fraud was witnessed related to M/s Greenbay Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., M/s Airwil Business Park Pvt. Ltd., Housing fraud with Army personnel and arrested the culprits, the EOW officials stated.

In another case, one person namely Diwakar Sharma, director of M/s Shubkamna Buildtech Pvt. Ltd was arrested by EOW who duped a total number of 32 persons to the tune of Rs. 68 crores on the pretext of providing flats in various projects situated in various parts of Noida.

The EOW also investigated some corporate fraud cases like the IL&FS Rail Ltd Fraud. In this case, a case of criminal misappropriation and forgery of approx. 99 crores allegedly committed by the directors of M/s IL&FS Rail Ltd was probed with the arrest of two directors RL Kabra and Mukund Sapre.

The officials added M/s IL&FS Rail Ltd had issued bogus contract orders to M/s Silverpoint Infratech Ltd when in fact no work was executed by this company. The invoices raised by the Silverpoint Infratech Ltd were forged and fabricated.

A multi crore band fraud had emerged in Lakshmi Vilas Bank Fraud - Multi Crore Religare Finvest Fraud was unearthed with the arrest of Ex-Regional Head and Ex-Assistant Vice President RMG-Corporate Group of Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Janpath Branch, New Delhi who were allegedly involved in misappropriation of fixed deposit receipts.

The officials said that the accused persons in the Lakshmi Vilas Bank and in collusion the with promoters of the REL persons, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder

Mohan Singh (who were arrested by EOW during 2019 and are still in jail) deliberately did not complete the formalities which are mandatory for the loan transaction to benefit the promoters/accused of RHC Holding Limited and Ranchem Pvt. Limited.

In a Ponzi fraud case known as Bike Boat Fraud Case, the EOW arrested 16 persons. 15000 victims were cheated of Rs. 42,000 Crores. The accused persons had induced the victims to invest Rs. 62,000/- for a bike and to receive Rs. 10,000/- monthly including principle and rental income on bike till one year. Initially, the alleged had repaid the assured amount to the investors to win their confidence but later they defaulted.

40 FIRs were registered against them in UP also. The victims were found from all across the country. The Enforcement Directorate is also probing this case.

In another big case, the Owner of M/s Cinemirchi Productions Private Limited and Producer of the Bollywood movie “The Great Indian Casino” Chanderkant Sharma was apprehended by EOW Team from Chandigarh for duping investors. The alleged through his company allured the investors with a promise of high returns of more than 70%, by investments in entertainment sector and other undefined projects.

Over 130 complainants lodged their complaint in EOW with allegations that alleged persons Arun Agnihotri and Sajeev Upadhayay running a firm in the name of “M/s Great India Expo” had induced them to invest in their firm with 200% assured return on monthly basis. The cheated amount was approx. Rs. 5 Crores. After collecting a huge amount from the victims, they reportedly stopped the payment of returns to the victims and shut down their office premises.

Another pan India fraud had emerged known as ‘Hello Taxi Fraud’. The EOW said that this was started by four directors by floating a lucrative investment offer with high returns upto 200% in a popular scheme called “Hello Taxi”. The Company neither paid the interest nor returned the invested money. Total investors are more than 900 and amount involved is around Rs. 12 Crores.

The EOW also witnessed various loan frauds including big companies.

In one case, six persons had allegedly cheated Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd. The official added that the accused disbursed loan against property on the basis of documents, arranged through different firms being run by them separately and misappropriated the loan amount to the tune of Rs. 23 crores.

In another case, the owner of London Diamond Group, Rajouri Garden and notorious cheat namely Sanjay Saxena along with his son and two associates were arrested by EOW who cheated a doctor to the tune of 4.25 crores on the inducement of providing loans to the tune of 75 crores. He fraudulently obtained signatures of the prospective borrower on blank stamp papers and blank cheques and misused them later.

The EOW also received property fraud cases where prominent arrests were made. The EOW arrested Varun Krishan Vij for selling a property in Panchsheel Park, New Delhi to a victim by forging a letter of Archaeological Survey of India, showing the property 200 meters away from a protected monument, while the property was situated at a distance of 40.5 meters away from the protected monument.

Another alleged cheat namely Arvind Dhingra was arrested by the EOW fr alleged forged will property fraud where he allegedly conspired to grab the property worth more than 20 crores of a 64 yrs old deceased single woman. Sanjay Dewan, Administrator General & Official Trustee, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had filed a complaint in this case.

In a multi mortgage property fraud, the EOW arrested Vinay Jain, Director of M/s AVJ Heights, who in connivance with others, indulged in allotment of flats to different investors and at the same time availed multiple financing/loans from various institutions/banks against the same units. Multiple forged Allotment Letters were issued to different buyers for the same flats. The complainant company (HDFC) granted loans to around 400 borrowers in their individual capacity for 400 independent flats situated in the said project.

Around 90 cases came into default from 2015 onwards. Later, the complainant company came to know that the flats on which these borrowers had taken loans and were allotted to them, were illegally allotted to other individuals also. Total cheated amount in this case is approximately Rs. 15 Crores.

Rohit Bhutan, Subhash Bhutan and a woman were also arrested for allegedly duping Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Co. Ltd. by obtaining loan of Rs. 2.56 crores by re-mortgaging the property with forged documents.

In two case of prominent share trading fraud, the EOW arrested Ajay Oberoi for illegal and unauthorized share trading in his personal and family accounts and causing a loss of Rs. 18.50 Crores to M/s Exponential Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. The accused person by misusing his fiduciary position and control over the affairs of the company had committed massive fraud by illegal and unauthorized trading in stocks and derivatives market in his personal, family accounts, even in the account of a peon of the company.

In another interesting fraud case, he EOW arrested Piyush Bandhopadhyay who impersonated himself as an IFS officer for cheating Rs 19 Crores from SRM Mahadeo Smart Bio Toilet Pvt. Ltd. owned by Gujrat based NRI. Bandhopadhyay in conspiracy with his wife Shweta Sorout misrepresented themselves as High Officials working in Prime Minister’s office and persuaded the NRI businessman to invest through their dubious trust Intellectual Innovation Think Tank in various Make in India initiative projects.

The EOW has freezed Rs. 27 Crore and attached land worth Rs 4 Crore.

Sunil Kumar Jha, a former IES Officer allegedly cheated complainant Laxman Prasad to establish his own TV channel by purchasing major shares of M/s Express Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd. Jha also undertook and created the required infrastructure for TV channel. Prasad transferred Rs. 2.21 Crore into bank account of Viceroy Engineers Pvt. Ltd. and also handed over Rs. 25 lacs in cash.

The complainant transferred Rs. 19.83 lakhs to AV Edit Solution, Rs. 27 lakhs to Planet Cash Media Services Ltd. and Rs. 1.51 lakhs to Dish TV India Ltd. in different transaction as owner.

Later on, the complainant came to know that alleged persons purchased the TV channel Sanskriti in the name of Bindu Jha and Vineet Vashisht through shareholding of M/s Express Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd instead of the complainant. Jha was earlier arrested by CBI and convicted in a similar case.

After analysing these frauds, the EOW explained several individuals and companies fell prey to the fraudsters because they did not carry out proper verification of investment agencies and didn’t procure proper transaction documents and receipts while companies and corporates had an alleged fraud who duped the firm.

The EOW also upgraded the skills of their officials during the post Covid period through 25 in house training through Webax. The officers were trained on latest methods of investigation cyber and economic offences, collection of digital evidence, case studies of forgery; techniques in examination of questioned Documents; CCTNS online training, investigation of frauds in digital era and more.

The EOW also took sessions with RBI and SEBI and met resident welfare societies, bank and financial institutions to alert and educate them about the nature of financial frauds through digital platform in post pandemic. The officials were also introduced to that the bank statement analysis software which aids in bank fraud investigations.

NEW KIND OF FRAUD

Fraud through BIGO (A banned Chinese App)

An accountant namely Mahesh Chand Badola who defrauded his Employer Jeweller to the tune of rupees two crores was arrested by EOW. The accused misappropriated money squandered on watching X-rated content on Chinese App BIGO (online Chinese App for live chatting). The investigation revealed that accused Mahesh Badola transferred the funds from the account of the complainant company to PayTM account and PayTM account was used for making payment to BIGO. Major part of unused fund at BIGO was further transferred through Payoneer (another payment application) to his accomplices. This maze of transaction was created to hoodwink the investigating agency. This is a classic example of criminal breach of trust and faith where an employee misused and diverted the funds on the basis of passwords given under trust.