Two State Bank of India officials, including an assistant manager, have been arrested for allegedly siphoning around Rs 50 lakh from the accounts of their deceased customers, police said. The alleged scam took place at the bank’s Daryaganj branch, police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (central district) M S Randhawa said they have arrested two persons, Syed Zeeshan Mohammed, who works as an assistant manager at SBI’s Gole Market branch, and head clerk Mihir Kumar Mishra, who works at the Daryaganj branch.
“The arrests were made a few days ago after we received a complaint on May 31 from the bank manager of the Daryaganj branch, Preeti Singh,” he said. Singh informed police, in her complaint, that on May 30, a relative of one Sushil Chander Gupta came to her office and said that Gupta had died a few years ago. But, the relative claimed, around Rs 45 lakh was transferred from his account on different occasions between September 2 and October 4 last year. “Singh directed her colleagues to look into the matter and they found that the transactions were made without proper authorisation,” Randhawa said.
Singh suspected that Mishra could be involved, and also asked police to probe the role of others. “On the basis of Singh’s complaint, a case was registered under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC and a team led by SHO (Daryaganj) Satendra Mohan and sub-inspector Mahipal Singh started their investigation,” a senior police officer said.
Sources said that police detained Mishra for questioning, but initially he tried to mislead investigators. However, he broke down after sustained interrogation and admitted to his involvement, police said. “Investigators scanned several documents as well as the biometric machine which he used to access accounts of customers who had died,” sources said.
During interrogation, Mishra said he had been working with SBI since 2010 and had siphoned money from accounts of several customers in the last two years. “Initially, he siphoned Rs 5,000-10,000 from different accounts. If a customer reported the matter, he immediately transferred money to their account, and if no one reported it, he kept it. Recently, he was checking bank accounts of customers and found Gupta’s account, where no transaction had been made since 2009,” sources said.
Sources said Mishra discussed his plan with Zeeshan and they decided to take out the money. “Mishra initially siphoned Rs 100 on September 2 and waited for some weeks, but when no one came to report the matter, he started making transactions. He transferred Rs 23 lakh to Zeeshan’s account, who then withdrew it,” sources said.
Investigation further revealed that they allegedly siphoned Rs 6 lakh from the account of one Ramkala from the bank’s Gole Market branch. “Police also found during their investigation that during demonetisation, two persons submitted Rs 48,000 and Rs 49,000 into separate accounts. Mishra gave them a receipt, but did not submit the money. Police have received a fresh complaint against him now,” a senior police officer said.
An SBI spokesperson said, “The bank had doubts on two employees, so we proactively filed an FIR on May 31. The bank has also initiated an internal inquiry and necessary action will be taken.”