Police on Monday booked manager of the SBI’s rural branch in Hoshiarpur’s Bullowal along with the bank’s empanelled goldsmith and a local financier in an alleged multi-crore gold loan fraud case. FIR number 30 was registered under Section 420 and 120 (B) of the IPC against branch manager Sidharth Bhatti, empanelled goldsmith Jatinder Kumar of Lord Krishana Gold Shop and financier Sukhwinder Pal Saini. Earlier in the day, Saini was was spotted at the local court complex by a few who had availed the gold loan, and then produced before Hoshiarpur SSP J Elanchezhian. The FIR was registered in the evening.
On Friday, the bank manager had filed a complaint with the police against the goldsmith, financier and 224 clients who availed gold loan against gold ornaments that later turned out to be fake. But police did not act on that complaint of manager because he was also under scanner. SBI Bullowal branch sanctioned loan amounting to over Rs 8 crore against gold to 290 clients after getting it checked from the empanelled goldsmith of the bank between May 2015 till February 5 this year.
But now it has come into light that out of 290 clients, the gold of 224 clients was only gold-like metal. Bank discovered that loan amount against these 224 beneficiaries was Rs 4.65 crores. RTI activist Rajiv Vashishth has alleged that empanelled goldsmith and the financier connived with a bank officials to replace gold given by customers with gold-like metal.