Three arrested for running fake bank

July 26th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  


Patna, July 26 (IANS) Police have arrested three men allegedly running a fake bank and fleecing people in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, officials said Saturday. According to the police, the accused, Dablu Mandal, Subhash Mandal and Mahendra Mandal, were named in a complaint filed by Ranjit Das and Rita Devi “charging them of fraud and cheating”.

The police Friday night arrested the three operating a fake financing institute from a village under the jurisdiction of Gopalpur police station in Bhagalpur, about 200 km from the state capital here.

Fraud banks, known as ‘goonda’ banks, are common in rural Bihar. They are often run by suspected criminals and named after Hindu gods and goddess like Laxmi, Saraswati and Shiva.

According to a police report, over two dozen such banks operate in Naugachhia in Bhagalpur, Purnia and Katihar districts of the state. Over 32 cases related to forgery and illegal transfer of money where registered in 2006 and 2007 in Naugachhia.

The police admit that ‘goonda’ bank agents force people to deposit their money with them with the promise that it will be doubled within a year. In the last three years, there were dozens of reports that retired government employees, businessmen and contractors were forced to deposit money.

The ‘goonda’ bank is a lucrative business in Bihar’s rural areas where nationalised or private banks have little presence.

The three people, who were allegedly running a ‘goonda’ bank, were sent to jail, police officials said Saturday.

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