The Prakasam District Central Cooperative Bank has been defrauded of Rs. 3.18 crore by an appraiser and loanees allegedly in connivance with seven bank employees by producing imitation jewels and through under-weighment.

Edara Mohan Babu, chairman of the PDCCB, which had lodged complaints with the I Town and Talkua police here, demanded at a press conference on Tuesday a thorough probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or the State CB-CID in view of the serious nature of the economic offence.

With the help of the appraiser, K. Narasimha Rao, the kingpin of the racket, some of the offenders had pledged imitation jewels while the rest had showed more gold weight than the actual weight for getting higher loan amount. I Town Circle Inspector K. Venkateswara Rao said that with the help of the gold appraiser, 151 persons had got loans to the tune of Rs. 2.21 crore through different accounts from its main branch. Six other offenders had got loans to the tune of Rs. 49 lakh from the Kurnool road branch, said Taluka police Circle Inspector I. Srinivasan, adding that efforts were on to nab the kingpin, to unravel the fraud.

The bank, which came to know of the fraud during its internal audit, could recover Rs. 48 lakh. “We have taken up the matter with the Inspector General of police as also DGP for the early arrest of the offenders,” Mr. Mohan Babu said, adding seven bank employees were placed under suspension.

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