The assistant manager dug into the records and realised that five loans had been issued to people living at the same address between February 2015 and November 2017. While four loans had been issued to Rathod, one had been given to Tarun Sureja.
He checked the records and found that Aadhaar card copies submitted by Rathod and Sureja were the same, except for the difference in names and birth dates. While two of the loans (one issued to Sureja and the other to Rathod) had been paid off, three loans totalling Rs 1.53 lakh were still pending. The assistant manager realised that the first loan in Rathod’s name, which had been paid off, mentioned an address in Ankodia village in Vadodara district. “He visited the address and found Rathod’s brother Vijay who told them that Rathod had died on May 29, 2016. He also showed him the death certificate,” said police. Realising that Sureja had somehow committed the fraud, he filed a police complaint against Sureja on Tuesday.
Investigation revealed that after Rathod died, his mobile number was reissued to Sureja. When Sureja, who had already taken and repaid a loan from the company, registered for another loan from the new mobile number, he received a message that the number was already registered. “He received an OTP which gave him access to Rathod’s loan with the finance company,” said police. The company issues an EMI card with a pre-approved loan amount to its customers.
While the firm carries out a thorough check the first time the card is issued, if the customer wants to apply for a second loan, all s/ he needs to do is submit an id proof. “Realising this, Sureja first got the address on the EMI card changed to his. Then, he modified the PDF of his Aadhar card to change the name from Sureja to Rathod. He submitted this as id proof for the loans he took on December 2, 5 and 6 under Rathod’s name. The card’s limit was Rs 1.58 lakh, and he took a loan of upto Rs 1.53 lakh,” said police. Sureja, who studied till MPhil, is a graphic designer and creates websites for a living. “He bought LED TV and mobile phones on credit then sold it off to get hold of cash. We are looking into all his purchases,” said police.