Tamil Nadu Police have arrested three persons for running a duplicate State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Panruti in Cuddalore district.
According to the police, Kamal Babu (19), the son of a former SBI employee, had brought computers, lockers, challans and forged documents, among other items, to set up the branch through his contacts. A website was even created in the name of the Panruti Bazaar branch.
Babu, along with A Kumar (42), M Manickam (52), had opened the branch in April amid the lockdown, with an assumption that they would not be caught.
However, the branch came under the radar when an SBI customer enquired about the newly-opened branch in North Bazaar with the manager of an existing branch in the town.
After one of the customers showed the receipt he had acquired from the duplicate branch, the manager and other officials visited the fake branch and were shocked to find the set up similar to that of an original bank branch with all the necessary items. They immediately lodged a complaint with the Panruti police following which the trio were arredt under sections 473, 469, 484, 109 of the Indian Penal Code.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Panurti Inspector Ambedkar said Babu had learnt all the bank operations in his early years and therefore, attempted to open a fake branch.
“Babu’s parents are former SBI bank employees. From an early age, he had been visiting the bank and had learnt how a branch functions. His father died a few years ago and his mother had retired. After his father’s death, he had applied for his post. He got frustrated after his application was delayed and hence decided to open a bank by himself,” the official said.
He added: “Till date, we haven’t received any complaints from customers that they have lost money in this branch. When we enquired, Babu said he never intended to cheat people but wanted to open a bank for himself. However, there has been a lot of transactions between his mother’s account and his aunt’s account. A probe is underway.”