First time: PMLA case on banking conmen who stole savings from remote J’khand town

NEW DELHI, Aug 5: In a first-of-its kind criminal case aimed to choke cyber banking fraudsters, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched a money laundering probe against a clutch of alleged conmen based in a sleepy Jharkhand town who make fake calls to gullible people and steal monies from their accounts.
The agency has filed as many as three Enforcement Case Information Reports (ECIRs), ED equivalent of a police FIR, against Pradeep Kumar Mondal, Yugal Mondal and Santosh Yadav and their associates whom the agency has charged to have conned numerous people in the last few years by obtaining their vital banking information over phone after posing as bank officials.
These banking crimes perpetrated over phone and using stolen e-database has seen a phenomenal rise in the last few years prompting banks to ask their customers not to share their personal account details with anyone.
“It is alleged that these people and their associates, sitting in a remote town of Jharkhand, siphoned off huge amount of money of bank account holders and have amassed assets worth about Rs 1 crore each. The state police has registered multiple FIRs against them.
“The ED has now taken over the cases under the PMLA in order to choke finances and freeze tainted assets of these conmen,” a senior official in the central probe agency said.
The ECIRs are the first of their kind for the ED as they have been registered after taking cognisance of original FIRs and the predicate offence filed under the Information Technology (IT) Act and sections of the IPC. The agency has sent a special team of its sleuths to Jamtara and its adjoining areas to obtain further leads and prepare a list of properties of the accused so that they can be attached under the anti-money laundering act. (PTI)
The ED complaint, accessed by PTI, states that these alleged conmen and their associates used to “make random calls to bank account holders” residing in any part of the country and threatened them that their accounts would be suspended if they did not share their confidential banking credentials.