CBI takes up investigation into ₹45-cr. fraud at Indian Bank

Three suspects, including a bank official, have been accused of forging documents and cheating Indian Bank of ₹45 crore. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case into the alleged term deposit scam, in which the suspects made transactions in the account of the Chennai Port Trust to commit the offence.

Acting on a complaint lodged by the zonal manager, Indian Bank, Chennai, the agency’s Anti-Corruption Branch registered a case against Ganesh Natarajan of Alwarpet, V. Manimozhi of Virugambakkam and Sermathiraja, branch manager, Indian Bank, Koyambedu branch, Chennai.

The allegation was that the suspects entered into a criminal conspiracy and committed the offence of forgery, impersonation, fabrication of documents, criminal misappropriation and cheating on term deposits and current account transactions in the name of the Chennai Port Trust – General Insurance Fund and cheated the bank of ₹45 crore.

Going by the First Information Report, for the first time the bank participated in the open tender floated by the Chennai Port Trust for term deposits and succeeded in the bid. This was communicated to the Koyambedu branch, following which term deposit accounts were opened on March 7.

Three days later, a man visited the branch and introduced himself as Ganesh, Deputy Director, Finance, Chennai Port Trust, and requested for opening a current account in the name of the Chennai Port Trust – General Insurance Fund by submitting some documents.

After the account was opened, the suspect visited the branch on March 12 and requested pre-closure of term deposits and issued cheques favouring transfer of funds into the accounts of several individual entities. Similar pre-closure of term deposits took place on a few occasions, following which Chennai Port Trust officials got in touch with the bank. Preliminary inquiry revealed that Ganesh had opened the account with forged documents and he, along with his associate Manimozhi had defrauded the bank.

It came to light during the inquiry that branch manager Sermathiraja and several unknown persons were part of the fraud.

When Manimozhi and one of his associates Selvakumar visited the branch on May 15, the bank officials handed them over to the local police. However, it is not clear whether a case was registered then.

Requesting the CBI to investigate the role of Sermathiraja and others in the case, the bank accorded sanction under the provisions of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, to the agency. Investigators said the accused committed several other offences and caused huge amount of wrongful loss of public money.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 11:01:17 AM |

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