A 42-year-old man, who allegedly cheated a vehicle finance company of Rs 2.18 crore, was arrested three years after he went into hiding, police said on Wednesday.
They said a case was registered against the accused Pramod Singh, a resident of Gurgaon, in 2018 following a complaint by the finance company.
According to the police, Singh initially borrowed Rs 27.5 lakh from the firm to purchase a Mercedes Benz car and paid the initial installments. After gaining the financer’s trust, he took four more loans and continued to pay the installments for some time, only to abruptly stop them later.
Police said some officials in the transport department were hand in gloves with Singh.
According to the complainant, Singh owes the firm Rs 2,18,34,853.
He was missing for the last three years and non-bailable warrants were issued against him. He was arrested from Gurgaon recently after a long chase and surveillance, Chhaya Sharma, Joint Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing), said.
“It is also alleged that the accused removed the name of the complainant company as financier from registration certificates of the vehicles by forging the documents despite the vehicles being hypothecated and financed by the complainant company,” she said.
The officer said Singh purchased five Mercedes cars over three years and all of them were financed by the same firm. She said some officials in the transport department got the hypothecated status of the vehicles deleted from the records after which he could fraudulently sell the cars to second-hand car dealers.
Hypothecation is the practice of pledging an asset – cars in this case – to the financer while applying for a loan. The financer keeps the asset as collateral until the dues are cleared. Such vehicles cannot be sold without a No Objection Certificate from the lender.
Police said Singh was running a business of providing transportation services to call centres in Gurgaon and hence owned a fleet of luxury cars. However, he suffered losses as several call centres were shut down and hence forged the vehicle documents in order to recover his money.