JAGATSINGHPUR: Officials of the State Bank of India’s Rahama branch have come under scanner after Tirtol police arrested a man on charges of loan fraud on Monday.
The accused, Saroj Kumar Das, had fraudulently availed loan from SBI under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme in connivance with some unscrupulous officials of the bank. These officials have reportedly misappropriated lakhs of rupees by approving loans for fake beneficiaries under the scheme.
Sources said the SBI Rahama branch sanctioned a loan of Rs 2,34,929 in the name of farmer Mahendra Kumar Das. However, the loan amount was transferred to Saroj’s account who reportedly submitted forged land documents of Mahendra.
Several other farmers including Pramoda Swain, Gagan Mallick, Ashok Mallick, Tilotama Mallick, Kadambini Swain, Trilochan Parida and Surendra Das also alleged that loans were sanctioned in their names, but the funds were transferred to the account of Saroj.
The farmers accused the bank officials of approving loans without verifying land documents and papers. They claimed the SBI is reluctant to approve a small loan of Rs 10,000 for genuine farmers with all necessary land records. But the bank has sanctioned lakhs of rupees in loans to fake beneficiaries of KCC scheme on basis of forged land documents.
SBI’s Rahama branch manager Prasant Panda said he suspects involvement of bank employees in the fraud. The bank has issued notices to beneficiaries who availed loan. An internal inquiry is underway, and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
Tirtol IIC Abhimanyu Nayak said basing on the FIR of Mahendra and other farmers, police registered a case against the accused and bank employees. Saroj was arrested. Investigation is underway to ascertain the involvement of bank officials in the fraud.