A quick look at some crimes that have been committed using forged PAN cards.
1. Get loans or credit cards and then default on payment
In July 2018, Mumbai Mirror reported that Mulund resident Yogesh Bhatia found out that his identity had been stolen to get loans and credit cards from various banks in addition to buying SIM cards, phones and as many as three two-wheelers.
Payments that were due on the loans and credit cards were not made and it led to Mr. Bhatia being blacklisted from getting any loans in the future.
2. Conduct high value transactions and evade taxes
The Government mandates that PAN card details of the parties involved must be captured in certain high value or cash based transactions. For example, purchase of expensive jewellery requires the submission of a PAN card.
But the real buyer can easily provide a different person’s PAN details and the tax department will record the transaction in the victim’s name. Cases of jewellers stealing PAN information of unsuspecting people in order to help their clients evade taxes have also been recorded.
Just about anybody can be a victim. Just like Chetana Kumble, the wife of legendary cricketer Anil Kumble, whose PAN details were used to purchase watches worth almost Rs. 33 lakhs, leaving her liable to pay significant taxes.
3. Get a job for which the fraudster is not qualified
Ravi Shankar Sharma from Hyderabad was shocked to learn that someone had been using his identity, not just to get loans and credit cards, but to secure well-paying jobs in high profile companies.
Sharma and Mohammed Irfan of Bangalore had attended the same interview in 2008 and Irfan managed to get hold of Sharma’s PAN card and other documents.
By changing the picture on the PAN card to his own, Irfan managed to get jobs in reputed companies like mPhasis and Convergys. He was able to use this fake identity for many years before being found.
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4. Defraud businesses
Class X dropout Sarthak Babras had a relative who was a bureaucrat. Sarthak would book rooms in luxury hotels posing as his influential relative and show up with a forged PAN card to check-in to the room.
After staying in luxury for a couple of days, he would quietly slip away a day before he was supposed to checkout, without paying any bills.
5. Register companies to conduct suspicious activities and evade taxes
Delhi resident Anuj Kumar Srivastav’s PAN details were stolen and used to appoint him as a Director of as many as 13 different companies.
These companies had then opened bank accounts which were used to carry out transactions worth more than Rs. 20 crores over just seven months.
The victim only became aware of the fraud when he started receiving repeated notices from the IT department.
Related read: PAN Card Forgery is a Serious Identity Theft Threat
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