CBI arrests two foreign nationals in Chennai Port Trust fixed deposit scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested two foreign nationals in connection with the fixed deposit scam involving funds of the Chennai Port Trust. The case relates to fraudulent premature closure of fixed deposits, causing a loss to the tune of ₹45.40 crore to the Indian Bank.

The agency had earlier arrested nine suspects in connection with the scam after registering a case in July 2020 on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Indian Bank against its Koyambedu branch (in Chennai) manager, a private individual and “unknown others” accusing them of committing fraud, forgery, and impersonation with the intention of cheating the bank to the tune of ₹100 crore.

Further investigation revealed that the bank suffered a loss of ₹45.4 crore by way of premature closure of the fixed deposits by the suspects, who produced original receipts while issuing duplicate ones to the Chennai Port Trust authorities. The money was transferred to 28 different accounts and later withdrawn by the respective account holders and handed over to the suspects.

Acting on further leads, investigators conducted searches at Ramapuram and arrested two foreign nationals Boussiomo Steve Bertrand Yannick and Masada Ilunga Lucien alias Bo Bo allegedly residents of Cameroon and Congo respectively. It was alleged that the two had come to India on student visas and were overstaying with no valid passport in their possession.

Forged documents seized

Electronic gadgets such as laptops, mobile phones, cameras and certain documents relating to Kamarajar Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, bank fixed deposits, logos of different government organizations of India were also found. The duo was produced in a special court for CBI cases in the city. Though the total funds invested as fixed deposits were over ₹100 crore, Chennai Port Trust and bank authorities took steps to freeze the account to save ₹55.19 crore after detecting the fraud. In the second week of August this year, CBI officers conducted searches at 22 locations, including Chennai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Nagercoil, and arrested nine accused, who are now in judicial custody.

According to the CBI, the suspects, as part of the criminal conspiracy, canvassed Chennai Port Trust for opening of term deposits in the Indian Bank’s Koyambedu branch. Between March and May 2020, 45 term deposits were opened and one of the accused persons posed as a Deputy Director (Finance) of the Chennai Port Trust and opened a fake current account in the name of the organisation in the bank. Instead of delivering the original fixed deposit receipt to the Chennai Port Trust, he submitted forged bonds.

As the original receipts were in his possession, he presented the same before bank authorities and requested premature closure of the deposits within a few days of investment.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:37:43 PM |

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