In a case involving alleged swindling of Rs 1,000 crore through Syndicate Bank, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday carried out searches at 10 locations across three cities after registering a case of alleged loan fraud involving the bank.
According to the CBI, four businessmen allegedly managed to open 386 accounts in three branches of Syndicate Bank in Rajasthan in connivance with five of its executives and defrauded it of Rs 1,000 crore using fake cheques, letter of credits and LIC policies.
The executives and the businessmen have been named in the FIR . The investigating agency carried out the searches in locations across Delhi-NCR and Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The CBI registered the case against Satish Kumar Goyal, general manager (then posted in Jaipur), Sanjeev Kumar, DGM, regional office, Deshraj Meena, chief manager, MI road Branch, Adarsh Manchanda, Malviya Nagar branch, all in Jaipur and Avdhesh Tiwari, AGM, Udaipur.
The bank suspended all those invloved in the alleged fraud and filed a complaint with the CBI on the basis of which the agency has registered the case.
In addition to this, chartered accountant Bharat Bamb and businessmen Piyush Jain and Vineet Jain, all based out of Udaipur and a Jaipur-based businessman Shankar Khandelwal have been named in the FIR, the sources said.
These businessmen, in alleged connivance with the bank officials, resorted to discounting of fake cheques and bills against fake Letters of credit and arranging over-draft limit against non-existent LIC policies, said the sources.
The ‘fraud’ which allegedly ran between 2011 and 2016 continued unabated escaping the audits and all the formalities related to KYC norms as 386 bank accounts were opened in three branches in Jaipur and Udaipur, the sources said.
During the course of five years, a large number of fake cheques, LIC policies and letters of credit issued by different banks were used to avail cash from the branches of Syndicate Bank, revealed the sources.
They said while opening multiple accounts, documents submitted by genuine customers of different banks were used to open accounts in Syndicate Bank which were allegedly controlled by the alleged perpetrators of the scam.
A CBI spokesperson said that the transactions of fake cheques ranged from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 5 crore with maximum number of cheques in the range of Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 4 crore.
Explaining the modus operandi, the sources said these people allegedly deposited fake cheques and got discounted cash on them (e.g. for the face value of Rs 100 cheque, they got Rs 90 cash immediately). It is alleged that before the cheque bounced, they used to produce another cheque of higher face value and again get a discounted encashment with a portion of it being used to write off against the previous fake cheque.
“To avoid detection, many of these transactions were nullified from the proceeds of new fraudulent transactions,” the spokesperson said.
The agency has registered the case under various Sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A CBI statement said, “It was alleged that the accused in connivance with the bank officials committed a fraud of Rs 1,000 crore(approx)… It was further alleged that since 2011, the bank officials of said branches at Jaipur and Udaipur colluded with private persons / customers and resorted to discounting of fake cheques, fake inland bills and arranging over-draft limit against non-existent LIC polices.”