The Bilahat Branch of Odisha Gramya Bank in Cuttack district has sanctioned loans, amounting to Rs. 2.96 crore, to fictitious school teachers.

Odisha Gramya Bank has disbursed personal loans among 148 teachers of primary and high schools in the State during 2011-12. Neither most of teachers nor did the schools exist.

However, the Bilahat Branch of Odisha Gramya Bank in Cuttack district has sanctioned loan amounting to Rs. 2.96 crore. A massive bank loan fraud was detected by Economic Offences’ Wing of the State Government. To process the loan applications, officials of the branch pulled together huge fake documents, the EOW said.

EOW Deputy Inspector-General Rajesh Kumar on Sunday said four persons, including two bank employees, were arrested in connection with the fraud.  Prakash Chandra Baral, who was branch manager, and Harmohan Pattnaik, who was field officer, were arrested as the alleged fraud took place during their tenure. The other two persons who were arrested were identified as Hemant Swain and Gyana Ranjan Mohanty, who were known to bank officials.

Mastermind

Hemant Swain, said to be the mastermind behind the fraud, along with Gyana Ranjan Mohanty, submitted applications and documents, which were later discovered to be forged, seeking loans. The bank officials, whose job was to verify the documents, ignored the process.

EOW DIG said salary certificates and undertakings of drawing and disbursing officers (DDOs) were manufactured. The irregularities were noticed by a General Manager (Vigilance) of Odisha Gramya Bank who later registered a case with the EOW. The investigating agency said Hemant Swain had received major share of the fake loans.