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Mizoram: One more arrested in Rs 150 crore financial fraud case

07:39 AM May 13, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 12:44 AM May 13, 2024 IST
mizoram  one more arrested in rs 150 crore financial fraud case
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Aizawl: One more person has been arrested in Rs 150 crore financial fraud from a private non-banking financial company raising the number of total arrested persons to 12 in Mizoram, a police officer said on Sunday.

The last person was arrested on May 9 during an investigation, the officer said.

"All the 12 accused have been sent to jail. The case is under massive investigation," the police officer said.

Earlier, the state police had arrested 11 people, including Jakir Hussain (41), the mastermind in the fraud, for defrauding Rs. 150 crore by opening a fake bank account and creating fake loan applications for at least 2,000 non-existent or ghost customers from Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Service Limited (MMFSL), which deals in disbursement of vehicle loan.

Mizoram Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Shukla had said that the incident came to light on March 20 when a case was registered at Aizawl police station based on the complaint filed by circle head of MMFSL , Ankit Bagree against its former Mizoram area business manager Jakir Hussain, a resident of Tezpur in Assam, accusing him of orchestrating vehicle loan disbursements.

Another case was registered on March 29 at the Crime and Economic Offense police station in Aizawl based on the complaint filed by the business head of MMFSL, Chanpreet Singh.

The investigation, conducted by an 11-member Special Investigation Team (SIT), exposed the financial fraud, which is believed to be the biggest fraud not only in Mizoram but in the entire Northeast, the DPG had said.

He had said that Hussain and a few of branch employees, including H Lalthankima (office staff) and Edenthara (business executive) conspired to commit the fraud, impersonating the country business head of the company and forging fake stamps, seals and documents to open fake bank account closely resembled the name "Mahindra' at Khatla branch of Mizoram Rural Bank in 2020.

The bank account was operated for three years to receive the defrauded money from five car dealers, who were also involved in the scam, he said.

Hussain sanctioned vehicle loans by forging documents and files to over 2,000 ghost customers during the last four years.

However,  Hussain and his aides have never delivered the vehicles to fictitious customers, but instead sold to other individuals at discounted prices, the DGP had said.

While Hussain was arrested on 29 March,  H Lalthankima and Edenthara were arrested on April 2.

Before the company audit, Hussain would remove the fake documents and files from the company office and transport them to the house of his other aide Manoj Sunar.

He used to pay Mr Sunar Rs. 15,000 per month for helping him in the fraudulent operations.

Sunar was arrested by the SIT on April 3.

During the search at Manoj's house, the SIT recovered seven sacks containing 549 files from  2022 to 2024 and 25 forged stamps, the DGP had said.

Hussain and his aides also used the modus operandi of paying EMI regularly for fake accounts by withdrawing money from the fake bank account to ensure that the ghost loan account did not turn into a non-performing asset and also to avoid suspicion.

"The accused used the loopholes in the company's oversight process, KYC verification process, auditing, tele-verification, and supervisory mechanism to continue their activities over a long period,” Shukla had said.

He had said that the police had frozen 26 bank accounts amounting to about Rs 2.5 crore and also the accounts of car dealers worth Rs. 1 crore.

About Rs. 3.47 crore have been returned by car dealers directly to  MMFSL.

15 new cars worth Rs. 3 crore have also been recovered from the accused, Shukla had said.

Other recoveries include three laptops, 10 mobile phones, 549 ghost customers' files, 25 forged seals, 30 SIM cards, two personal diaries, and various other documents, he had said.