BHUBANESWAR: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch has arrested two persons including a hawala dealer from Mumbai for allegedly cheating a businessman of Jharsuguda to the tune of Rs 2 crore.
Ashok Kumar Singh, a native of Bihar and involved in the real estate business in Jharsuguda, had lodged a complaint in EOW against Rakesh Pandey, Sarman Singh Tomar, and seven others alleging they cheated him with a promise of providing him Rs 100 crore loan. EOW registered a case in this connection on March 3 this year.
Ashok’s business was severely affected during the Covid-19 pandemic and he was in need of money. In June 2021, he came in contact with Rakesh Pandey alias Rakesh Kumar Girija Pandey. Rakesh assured Ashok to arrange a Rs 100 crore loan and asked him to pay Rs 2 crore towards the processing fee. The victim arranged the money with the help of his business partner and handed over the amount to Rakesh in Mumbai.
Subsequently, Ashok received many fake emails claiming his loan amount will be dispersed after he completed some procedures and documentation. However, the victim neither received the loan nor the amount he had paid to the accused.
During the investigation, EOW officers established that Sarman Singh Tomar allegedly runs hawala business in Mumbai and Rakesh Pandey, a native of Uttar Pradesh, is a wanted fraudster/extortionist. Rakesh has several criminal cases against him in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The agency officers have seized many incriminating documents and articles like credit/debit cards, cheques from different banks, mobile phones, one pistol with eight rounds of live ammunition, and Rs 50,000 cash from Rakesh.
Rakesh is involved in at least 15 cases like fraud, dacoity, robbery, swindling, forgery, attempt to murder, impersonating as government officials, among others.
“Sarman and Rakesh were held on March 26 and they were produced at a court in Bandra a day later. They have been brought to Bhubaneswar on transit remand. Efforts are on to identify and nab the other accused involved in cheating the businessman,” said an EOW officer.