CBI files charge sheet against Indian Bank branch manager, 17 others in deposit fraud case

New Delhi, November 3

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a charge sheet against 18 people, including an Indian Bank branch manager, in connection with the Rs 45.40-crore fixed deposit fraud of Chennai Port Trust, officials said on Wednesday.

A Sarmathi Raja, then branch manager of Koyambedu branch of Indian Bank, and 17 other accused have been named in the charge sheet for allegedly cheating Indian Bank by pre-closing term deposit accounts (fixed deposits) standing in the name of Chennai Port Trust, they said.

“It was alleged that the accused committed the offence of criminal conspiracy, impersonation, fabrication of false documents, submission of forged documents, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, fraudulent transactions, etc. and caused wrongful loss of Rs 45.40 crore (approximately) to the bank,” CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said.

Chennai Port Trust regularly invested in term deposits for which it had open tenders, which was bagged by the Koyambedu branch of Indian Bank, officials said.

The CBI in its probe found that the accused allegedly exploited the situation of investment of surplus cash available with Chennai Port Trust in the form of term deposits/fixed deposits with the bank for earning interest through limited tender process and also the willingness of the bank to attract investment in the form of term deposits, Joshi said.

“In that process, a total of Rs 100.57 crore (approximately) was transferred from CPT in five investments against which 45 term deposits of different amounts were created. Out of the total amount invested, Rs 55.19 crore could be freezed after the detection of the fraud and the remaining Rs 45.40 crore were swindled by the accused,” Joshi said.

Sources in the agency said the siphoned off amount was allegedly invested in properties and money lending business.

Once the deposits were created, the alleged mastermind went to the branch introducing himself as the Deputy Director (Finance) of Chennai Port Trust, where he opened a fake current account in the name of CPT at the branch on the basis of forged documents.

“After the receipt of investment from CPT on every occasion, the bank created term deposit receipts (Bond) against the said investment, and the said bond was received by the accused from the bank directly. Instead of delivering the original bond to CPT, the accused made duplicate bonds and submitted the forged bonds to CPT,” the CBI had said after registering the FIR in July 2020.

With original bonds in possession, the mastermind accused allegedly approached the bank and pre-closed deposits within days of their creation.

The amount was transferred to fake accounts of CPT created in the bank and further it was transferred to different accounts, they said. — PTI


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