CHENNAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against 18 accused. including then Branch Manager, Indian Bank, Koyambedu branch on the allegations of causing an alleged loss of approximately Rs 45.40 crore to Indian Bank.
CBI had registered the case on Juy 31, 2020 based on a complaint from Indian Bank, Zonal office-Chennai (North) against the branch manager of Indian Bank, Koyambedu Branch, Chennai and others on the allegations of cheating Indian Bank by preclosing the Term Deposit Accounts (Fixed Deposits) standing in the name of Chennai Port Trust. It was alleged that the accused committed the offense of criminal conspiracy, impersonation, fabrication of false documents, submission of forged documents, criminal misappropriation, Criminal Breach of Trust, fraudulent transactions and caused wrongful loss of Rs 45.40 lakh to the bank, according to a release from CBI.
Searches were earlier conducted around 28 places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala which led to the recovery of several incriminating materials and evidence. During the investigation, 12 persons were arrested including two foreign nationals, then Branch Manager, Indian Bank and they are presently in judicial custody.
Investigations revealed that the accused allegedly exploited the situation of investment of surplus cash available with Chennai Port Trust in the form of Term Deposits or Fixed Deposits with the banks for earning interest through limited tender process and also the willingness of the bank to attract investment in the form of term deposits.
It was learned that the fraudsters approached the branch manager and also Chennai Port Trust and enticed or induced the bank manager to participate in the tender. It was further alleged that the bank manager in conspiracy with other accused accepted the proposed investment and actively participated in the bidding floated by Chennai Port Trust by quoting an arbitrarily higher interest rate for the proposed investment than the maximum allowable interest rate of the bank with the intention to win the bid.
Indian Bank, Koyambedu branch was successful in five tenders floated by Chennai Port Trust and got the investment in the form of Term Deposits of Rs. 100.57 crore during the period between March and May 2020.
It was also alleged that after the Fixed Deposit (FD) was created, the FD receipts (FDRs) against the investment were handed over directly to the fraudsters by the branch manager instead of delivering the same in person to the investing organization. The accused instead of delivering the original fixed deposit receipts to Chennai Port Trust allegedly forged the receipts and submitted the same to Chennai Port.
Having original FDRs in possession, they were submitted to the bank with a request to preclose it. One of the fraudsters impersonated himself as an official of Chennai Port Trust and opened a fake current account through forged documents in the name of Chennai Port so as to enable the transfer of the amounts released from the preclosure of FDs into the fake current account. Subsequently, details of several bank accounts were collected from several persons and the money was transferred into their accounts based on the forged request letter in the name of Chennai Port Trust.
The alleged money received in different accounts was subsequently withdrawn and collected by the fraudsters and was shared on the basis of the prearranged commission. In that process, the fraud was committed one after another after each investment was made by the Chennai Port Trust, the release stated.