A banking fraud, which could run into a whopping Rs. 400 crore, has been unearthed at the leading multinational lender Citibank's Gurgaon (Haryana) branch.

Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal said a first information report under sections of cheating and forgery against a bank employee and three others was lodged and 18 accounts having close to Rs. 4 crore frozen.

Sources said funds amounting to Rs. 400 crore of 20 high net worth customers have been siphoned off.

The fraud is believed to be the handiwork of Shivraj Puri, the employee who allegedly sold investment products to the clients claiming that they would generate unusually high returns.

It is also alleged that Mr. Puri showed a forged notification of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India for obtaining funds.

He claimed that these products were authorised by the bank's investment product committee.

Citibank, in a statement, said: “We immediately reported the matter to all the relevant regulatory and law enforcement authorities. Identified suspicious transactions have been isolated and we are providing full assistance to the authorities in their investigations.”

Sources said Mr. Puri allegedly sought deposits from high net worth customers in lucrative schemes, but transferred the funds to fictitious accounts.