Three men were arrested for allegedly making and selling fake Aadhaar cards, permanent account number (PAN) cards, and voter ID cards, at a cyber cafe in Jahangirpuri in northwest Delhi on Monday.
Police said they suspect that the fake IDs were mostly procured by people who used them to open bank accounts and obtain subscriber identity module (Sim) cards, while committing crimes such as cheating, cyber fraud, and extortion.
The three suspects, Rohit alias Aakash (23), Pintu (25), and Anurag (30), are also members of a racket that offered loans from various banks and Sim cards – all obtained using forged documents, the officers said.
A total of 20 fake PAN cards, 10 Aadhar cards, two voter ID cards, 20 blank chip cards, 20 cheque books of different banks, and 48 sim cards were recovered from the three suspects, apart from electronic equipment used for preparing Aadhar and other ID cards, the police said.
“One stamp with details of a legislator from northwest Delhi was also recovered from the cafe,” said an officer, who asked not to be identified. The suspects were arrested after a police officer went to the cyber cafe as a decoy customer, according to the first information report, a copy of which is with HT.
According to the FIR, at 6.30pm on Monday, an assistant sub-inspector along with two head constables of the crime branch team reached near Jahangirpuri Metro station in their car. They met their informer, who told them about a cyber café in Jahangirpuri A-block, where forged IDs were prepared and sold along with Sim cards. The personnel informed their senior officers about the information and sought their approval for conducting a raid.
The ASI entered the cyber cafe posing as a decoy customer and asked Rohit to prepare fake Aadhaar card and Pan cards for him. Rohit asked him the purpose for which he needed the fake IDs, so the ASI said he wanted to open a bank account and obtain a Sim card. Rohit asked him for ₹5,000 for the Sim card, the FIR read.
When the ASI asked Rohit if fake documents could be prepared, the latter took out seven Pan cards, nine Aadhar cards and two voter ID cards from his pocket and told him all of them were fake. To gain his confidence, Rohit showed that all the IDs had the photograph of the cyber café owner but were under false names. At that moment, Anurag, who was also present in the café, told the ASI that he had connections in banks and could easily help him get loans, read the FIR.
The policeman gave money to Rohit and simultaneously signalled to the two head constables who were waiting outside the café. They entered the café and caught Rohit, Anurag and Pintu. They also seized all electronic equipment, forged IDs and SIM cards available at the café.
Police officers said they are questioning the apprehended men to find out how long they were involved in illegal activities and to how many people they have sold such fake IDs.
“There have been many instances in the recent past where bank accounts opened using forged documents were used to transfer money stolen from individuals by cyber fraudsters. In many cases, people sold their accounts to such crooks in lieu of money they received as commission,” said a senior police officer.