3 held for bank account fraud
Date of Publishing:24/11/2010
Mumbai: Alertness shown by the staff of a private bank helped the Mahim police nab a Mira Road resident, who had allegedly opened as many as 26 accounts in banks across the city using fake documents. The probe led to the unearthing of a Nigerian link to the scam.
Mohammed Rafique Salek (36) reportedly helped two Nigerians use these accounts to channel funds that had they gathered by duping people through online lottery and by offering jobs in the UK and the USA. The money was collected from the victims to process their documents.
The investigators learnt that Salek used to run a meat shop in Mira Road. He closed it down after getting an offer from the two Nigerians — Daniel Opara (46) and Johnson Olufemi alias Prince (46) — that he would be given 5% commission for every transaction carried out through his bank accounts.
The matter came to light after Salek visited the Mahim branch of ICICI Bank on November 15 to open an account. The manager, in his complaint, said: "I was going through the documents when I realized that he already had accounts in different branches of the bank at Andheri, Bandra and Khar. Copies of the same photograph had been provided, but the names and addresses varied."
The bank manager immediately contacted the Mahim police. "Salek approached the bank’s Mahim branch to open an account in the name of Pramod Madhukar Devgare. But the manager spotted the fraud. Salek used fake documents to open 26 accounts in different banks," Mahim inspector Vinay Kulkarni said.
Kulkarni said after nabbing Salek on November 15, a team was formed — comprising assistant inspector Bhagwan Kadam and detection staff — to arrest the two Nigerians. Daniel was picked up on November 18 while Prince was nabbed on November 21.
"The two, who had been staying in Salek’s house for a month, claimed that they were garments traders and had come to India for business purposes. The cyber crime cell revealed that Prince was wanted in a similar case," he said.
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