Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vasai bank manager held for Rs10cr fraud

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: The manager of ICICI Bank's Vasai branch has been arrested in a cheating and forgery case involving over Rs 10 crore. Police said he used a cash-credit facility to siphon off the funds and could be part of a larger conspiracy.
Amit Anand, 41, was taken into custody by the city economic offences wing (EOW) on Thursday after Anand Ganediwal, cluster branch manager, ICICI Bank, lodged an FIR with the Azad Maidan police. The case was later transferred to the EOW . Anand was remanded to police custody till March 11.

The police claimed Anand approved fraudulent transactions like creating a loan account against fixed deposit, transfer of money from that account to beneficiaries, premature closure of FD and transfer of funds to beneficiaries on the basis of forged documents. He also instructed his subordinate officers to do the same, facilitating the fraud.

In the particular case, the Mumbai District Central Coop Bank (MDCC) in August 2014 created an account in the Vasai branch to keep Rs 5 crore as FD. In November, the branch received a request letter and requisite documents, purportedly signed by MDCC's authorized signatories, for a loan of Rs 4 crore against the FD. ICICI created a loan account on September 13 and between September 15 and September 30, it received 11 RTGS requests, again purportedly signed by the MDCC authorities, for transfer of Rs 2.75 crore as loan to an account belonging to Prakash Trading. The Vasai branch complied, said EOW sources.
Similar transactions -loan against other FDs transferred to accounts of Prakash Trading, including one in Gujarat Gramin Bank -amounting in all to Rs 10.12 crore were carried out several times from ICICI's Vasai branch. All these transactions took place when Anand was the Vasai branch manager.
It is alleged that requests for creating the Rs 5 crore FD account and all other subsequent requestsinstructions correspondence purportedly issued by the MDCC were forged. The police said Anand and his wife have 12 bank accounts and they need to scrutinize them.
A police source indicated that they could be part of a larger conspiracy . “EOW is investigating 15 cases in which scamsters used a similar modus operandi to cheat government institutions and banks, including the office of the official liquidator of Bombay high court. It is our strong suspicion that the same group was involved in the crime,“ said the source.

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The Times of India, March 8, 2015

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