Man held in Noida for duping insurance policy owner of Rs 2.35 crore in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Economic Offences Wing of Odisha Crime Branch has arrested one person from Noida on charges of duping a life insurance policy owner to the tune of more than Rs 2.35 crore in guise of a central government employee.

The accused person has been identified as Himanshu Bhandari.

Based on a complaint registered dated February 28 this year under sections 419/420/465/467/468/471/170/120-B of IPC r/w section 66 of IT Act, 2000, the accused Himanshu was arrested on March 15 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Following arrest, he was produced before the ACJM First, Surajpur Court, Greater Noida, on March 16 and was brought to Bhubaneswar on a transit remand. He was deposed before the JMFC, Barbil, yesterday.

The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Pramod Kumar Rout, a resident of Joda. He alleged Himanshu and his gang members of defrauding him more than Rs 2.35 crore on pretext of releasing fund under Pradhan Mantri Rahat Kosh Yojana against his insurance policy using forged documents.

According to reports, Pramod Rout, who is holding a policy in Max New York Life Insurance Company since March 2012, had received a call in October 2019 from a person, who identified himself as AK Walia, Fund Releasing Head in Ministry of Finance. He informed the policyholder that his insurance policy has been selected under Pradhan Mantri Rahat Kosh Yojana and the Government of India will release an amount of Rs 3 crore in his account. He also received a letter issued under the signature of Suresh Mathur, HOD (Intermediaries), Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDA) on his WhatsApp number.

The letter wherein it was mentioned, “the authority request you to pay dues and receive your fund of Rs.1,56,36,500/- (Rupees One Crore Fifty Six Lakhs Thirty six thousand and five hundred) within next 4 hours”. Along with the above letter, he also received some other communications and photographs on WhatsApp.

Investigation of the case also revealed that when the complainant did not respond to the above letter and remained silent for some days, he received a series of phone calls from different persons, who identified themselves as employees in the office of AK Walia, asking him to transfer the cash through RTGS. They had given several bank account numbers for transfer of money.

Being persuaded, Rout had transferred around Rs 2.35 crore in instalments during the period from 19.11.2019 to 04.02.2021. When the victim received no amount returned to his account from the Government of India under the scheme, he suspected the credibility of those officials and found all the mobile numbers from which he had received the calls were switched off.

“The complainant also received many letters on WhatsApp issued by Ministry of Finance, RBI, Income Tax Department, and images of two bank Demand Drafts in favour of complainant amounting to Rs. 1,27,73,000/- and Rs. 70,81,800/-. All these letters/ documents were found to be fake and forged,” the EOW said in a release today.

During investigation it was found that there is no such person like Walia and Himanshu and his gang members were impersonating as high level officials to cheat Rout.

The EOW officials found that Himanshu was one of the members of the gang, which is involved in many such cases in various States.

The investigation is in process and efforts are on to identify other members of the gang in the fraud case.

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