Bank manager in gang booked for making false statements

July 26th, 2010 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

By Parminder Singh Bariana
Hoshiarpur (Punjab), July 26 (IANS) Punjab Police have busted a gang providing forged bank statements following a complaint from the British High Commission that too many student visa applicants from the state were submitting documents from one particular bank.

Four people, including a manager of the Canara Bank, who were acting as agents for supplying forged bank statements, have been booked in Hoshiarpur, police here said.

The gang swindled millions of rupees from applicants who wanted to study in Britain but did not possess adequate funds and needed bank statements to show that they were financially sound to support their education in the country.

They used to charge Rs.70,000-80,000 per student for the fake documents, which were allegedly prepared with the active connivance of the bank manager.

While three people have been arrested, the bank manager, Rajiv Ranjan, is still absconding, Hoshiarpur district police chief Rakesh Aggarwal said.

The three arrested are the alleged mastermind Arun Kumar and his accomplices Satish Kumar and Jasbir Singh.

The Canara Bank branch is located in village Kot Fatui, 30 km from here. Police officials investigating the matter said that forged letterheads, stamps and other documents were recovered.

Aggarwal told IANS: “We had received a complaint from the British High Commission following which we investigated the matter and busted this gang.”

Police officials say the gang members have admitted that they had supplied forged bank statements to nearly 100 applicants.

Police set up decoy customers and sent them to the agents to get the fake documents made, Aggarwal said.

Police officials here say that there have been complaints from adjoining Nawanshahr district regarding fake bank statements being provided by agents to applicants seeking visas for other countries.

Visa rules of various countries, including Britain, require applicants to submit documents showing that they have enough funds in bank accounts to support themselves while visiting those countries.

The Doaba belt in Punjab, the land between rivers Sutlej and Beas comprising Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts, is known as the ‘NRI belt’ given the large number of people who have migrated to other countries, especially Britain, United States, Canada and countries in Europe, in the last century.

Illegal migration and using foul means to prepare documents are rampant in these parts of the state.

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