Police open inquiry into Canara Bank fraud

The State police have opened an inquiry into siphoning money off the accounts of Canara Bank customers in Pathanamthitta district.

An official identified the accused as Vijesh Varghese, a bank official. He had joined Canara Bank following its merger with Syndicate Bank.

The police have issued a lookout notice for Vijesh, who they claimed was absconding.

The police said they had smoking-gun evidence in the case. Vijesh had used the passwords of the bank manager and others to transfer money from the accounts of customers to that of his wife and a close relative over several years.

He had primarily tapped into the accounts of survivors of motor accident victims. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal order insurance companies to pay compensation to survivors. The money was deposited in bank accounts and drawn only when the survivor was 18 years old.

Hence, some deposits languished for years. The police said Vijesh had primarily moved cash from such dormant accounts. However, the fraud came to light when he tried to manipulate the fixed deposit of a colleague.

Investigators said bank officials knew the accused as a diligent employee who worked overtime and even skipped lunch and tea breaks. They suspected he had used the extra hours at the workplace to raid the accounts of bank customers. The accused had also exploited the staff shortage at the bank to his advantage. Investigators said he had used a chunk of the cash to pay for his wife’s employment as a teacher in a government-aided private school.

The Canara Bank suspended his supervisors pending an inquiry.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:02:35 AM |

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