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Maid drew 19 lakh from NRI's older parents account by forged signatures


Maid dupes old couple of Rs 19L
MUMBAI, Dec 18, 2008
Vijay V Singh, TNN

:Tabassum Sheikh, who worked as a domestic help, had embarked on a novel method to mint money

She would forge the signature of her 82-year-old employer Kumudini Bhandarkar on bank cheques and then withdraw the amount. She amassed a whopping Rs 19 lakh before her luck finally ran out.

The theft came to light when the unsuspecting Kumudini's son, an NRI living in the United States, came home recently to help his parents file their income tax returns. Sheikh was arrested and a cheating case slapped against her.

Kumudini lives on 10th Road in Khar (west) with her 93-year-old husband. Both their children are NRIs, living in the United States and Canada, and Sheikh has been working with the old couple for some years now as a domestic help.

Kumudini's son came down from the US in December and requested the Dena Bank branch in Khar to provide him bank statements so that he could file his parents' tax returns.

Scruitinising the bank statement, Kumudini's son noticed that there were huge withdrawals from the savings account. He asked his mother the reason. She told him that she had withdrawn only a few thousands for monthly expenses.

It was then that Kumudini's son started suspecting Sheikh and the Bhandarkars filed a complaint against her at Khar police station. Sheikh lives in Worli-Koliwada with her husband.

The police examined several cheques deposited in the bank, apparently by Kumudini. Each cheque had what appeared to be Kumudini's signature but the reverse had Sheikh's signatures; she was the receiver.

Kumudini told investigators that she would visit the bank along with Sheikh initially but, after finding it too strenuous a task, she started giving the cheques to Sheikh so that she could withdraw the money and bring it home.

The police officers then found that Sheikh had withdrawn a total Rs 19 lakh with the help of 73 cheques. The police have managed to recover an amount of Rs 50,000 from Sheikh and are now questioning her husband about the remaining amount.

Sheikh had even applied for cheque books on Kumudini's behalf and had kept them with herself.

"Sheikh first withdrew money after forging Kumudidni's signature on a cheque last year; the amount was a few thousand rupees. But then she grew in confidence and never suspected she would be caught,'' a senior police officer said.