The police have arrested five members of a fraud ring involved in producing fake national identity cards in exchange of money.
Bank loan and credit card defaulters were mainly on their list. They would have made fake NID cards to let them avail new loans.
The Lalbagh division Detective Branch (DB) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested the five scamsters on Saturday last. Two of the arrested have been identified as data entry operators at the government’s Election Commission office.
The arrested are Md Sumon Parvez, Md Mazid, Siddhartha Shankar Sutradhar, Md Anwarul Islam and Md Abdullah Al Mamun.
Razib Al Masud, deputy commissioner of Lalbagh division police, told Prothom Alo that Sumon Parvez and Mazid would take from Tk 80,000 to Tk 100,000 from each of the customers, promising them to avail bank loans. Once the loans are sanctioned, they had to pay up to 10 per cent of the total.
Police officials involved in the investigation said those who had got second identity cards made, include physicians and engineers. So far, the police have seized 20-25 identity cards.
Using these national identity cards, they have borrowed money from City Bank, UCB Bank, NRB Bank and BRAC Bank. A certain Md Milton has withdrawn Tk 30 million from South Bangla Bank on North South road.
During interrogations, the police came to know that Sumon Parvez once worked at a 'verification firm' seven-eight years ago. The organisation was responsible to verify eligibility of a borrower. He later quit the job and began this work.
One of the members of the ring, Mazid, contacted Sumon Parvez as he needed a loan. Then the duo jointly started this fraud business.
If anyone needs a loan, they contacted the data entry operator of the Khilgaon office of the Election Commission Siddhartha Shankar Sutradhar and Gulshan office’s Md Anwarul Islam. These two used to make national identity cards on demand.
It takes a couple of months to crosscheck whether any person has a duplicate national identity card. The bank comes to know about the duplicate ID card at the time of repaying the loan installments
When asked how a duplicate ID card can be made despite an existing one, quoting one of the accused, the police said the operators had adopted a method for this.
Those who had a second identity card would send their birth certificate, citizenship certificate and electricity bill directly to the data entry operators. They then would log all the information offline with fingerprints and send it for approval. It would take a maximum of 15-20 minutes to be approved. The operators would hand over the fake national identity card to their customers who were willing to take loans.
It takes a couple of months to crosscheck whether any person has a duplicate national identity card. The bank comes to know about the duplicate ID card at the time of repaying the loan installments. They cannot find whereabouts of the new borrower as per the information in the national ID cards.
Data entry operator Siddharth has been working with the EC since 2006. During the interrogation, Siddharth said he got involved in the fraud ring since last year.
Among the arrested, Abdullah Al Mamun said he once withdrew Tk 925,000 from BRAC Bank's Gulshan branch and Tk 950,000 from City Bank using with his dual national identity card. He was also working to make another national identity card in the name of his wife Rozina Rahman. He was caught red-handed by the police.
Police have filed a case against the arrested persons at Mirpur Model police station under the National Identity Registration Act.