MBA held in K’taka for duping businessmen with fake ED notices

Karnataka Police have nabbed a 31-year-old MBA graduate for allegedly issuing fake notices in the name of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to freeze the bank accounts of nine businessmen, the police said here on Thursday.

The Punjab National Bank has also filed a complaint against the same person, an employee with one of its branches, accusing him of siphoning off insurance premium belonging to 12 of its customers, valued at around Rs 26 lakh, in the last two years.

According to the police, the accused has been identified as Madhukar Vilas Saple, a resident of Shashtrinagar in Belagavi.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (law and order), Vikaram Apte, told IANS that Saple is a BCA and MBA degree holder and comes from a highly educated background.

Apte added that Saple had borrowed a huge sum of money from nine businessmen at different points of time. “Of these nine businessmen, one is from Gujarat and another is from Maharashtra. Of the remaining seven, one is from Khanapur, one from Nippani while the remaining five are from Belagavi,” he said.

“The accused was working as an assistant relations manager with Punjab National Bank’s life insurance division. He was in-charge of multiple districts. As a result of this, he got acquainted with five businessmen in Belagavi due to his professional obligations. After knowing them well, he borrowed money from them. He also borrowed money from their friends. But he could not repay the amount,” the DCP said.

He added that in order to avoid repayment, Saple came up with an idea after seeing ED raids being conducted on various business houses across the state.

“This gave him an idea. He fabricated ED notices and despatched them to all the banks where these nine businessmen held accounts. As their accounts got frozen, the worried businessmen sought explanation from their respective banks. Meanwhile, after freezing these accounts, the banks informed the ED about the matter,” the officer said.

According to Apte, the ED reverted and sought more details from the banks as it had not issued any such notice to the said branches.

“After receiving this communication from the ED, the bank managers lodged a complaint with us. Our investigation revealed that Saple was behind the entire act,” Apte said.

The DCP added that on the same day he was arrested, the bank in which he was working also lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that insurance premium of 12 customers valued at around Rs 26 lakh was missing.

“Saple’s hand was evident in this case too. He had given his own account number instead of the bank’s account number to all the 12 clients to credit their premium amount. This was going on for the last two years and it came to light when one of the businessmen wanted a loan on his insurance policy, which was not operational yet,” Apte said.

The police arrested Saple on Wednesday night and he was taken into police custody on Thursday evening.