The Mumbai Crime Branch claims to have solved a credit card scam with the arrest of a 49-year-old banker, Pradeep Maurya, who has used his extensive knowledge of the banking system to become a master loan scammer. Maurya has consistently defrauded numerous people looking for loans and credit cards and has been arrested thrice in the past. In the latest case, Maurya and six others have been held for securing high-limit credit cards using forged documents.
Maurya used his banking knowledge, acquired during his employment at a prominent private bank, to devise techniques to manipulate documents. In the current case, Maurya’s gang used forged documents to obtain credit cards from leading banks with credit limits ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. The gang procured these for individuals who lacked necessary documents and swiped half the available limit as commission. Police suspect that over the past year and a half, the gang has scammed at least 50 to 60 people.
The other accused have been identified as Abdul Haque Shaikh, Kadar Parmar, Jagdish Jamsandekar, Meenakshi Shridhankar, Sushma alias Shilpa Mohite and Manju Gaikwad. Maurya is the mastermind of the syndicate. He was previously arrested in three separate cases. These include loan frauds involving luxury cars and forging of documents to secure loans.
“The accused forged Income Tax Return (ITR) documents to obtain an online gumasta license. Using the license, they would open a current account. They used two SIM cards to operate the scam. When bank officials contacted the provided number for verification, one of the gang members would pose as the applicant. Once the credit card was received, they would swipe half of the available amount as commission. The applicant would be left with EMI payments,” explained Deepak Surve, senior police inspector of Unit III of the Crime Branch.
Maurya has an intricate understanding of the loopholes in the banking system. In 2021, he purchased 20 high-end cars, including Audi, Mercedes, MG Hector, and Mini Cooper, by securing loans from banks. He then mortgaged these cars for half the amount, citing the need for funds for his sister’s wedding. In 2015, he faced an FIR at Bhandup police station in a similar loan fraud case, and in 2018, he encountered legal issues with the Rabale police in Navi Mumbai.
The police suspect that following his release on bail in the case of the high-end cars, Maurya set up the credit card scam. An officer said, “We suspect that a substantial number of people, possibly exceeding 50-60, have fallen victim to the gang’s schemes. We are searching for their office to additional evidence.”
Approx number of victims in latest case