THE POLICE are on the lookout for a 43-year-old man who allegedly forged the signature of a housing society president and withdrew 1.5 crore from the society’s bank account between 2014 and 2019. The suspect, the son-in-law of the president of the cooperative housing society in Andheri (East), withdrew the money by forging her signatures.
The Saki Naka police said the society was set up in 1982 with 42 registered members. The police said that only the president, secretary and treasurer had powers to withdraw money from the society’s bank account.
“The society has been collecting money from the residents under different charges, including maintenance, water and repair work. After 30 years, it had more than 1.5 crore in its bank account with a nearby cooperative bank,” said an officer.
The suspect, Jojo Kuriapan, allegedly withdrew cash from the account using the cheque book. “He did this for five years and none of the society members came to know about it,” said an officer.
In March 2019, after the president learnt that her son-in-law has fled with the cash, she informed the society members of the incident and resigned from her post. Shocked, the society members asked her to return the stamps and other documents she had on her. They later came to know from the bank that only Rs 9,000 was left in the account.
Following this, society member Deepak Valangar filed a complaint with the police. In the first week of October, a case on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery was lodged under the IPC.
After conducting an internal inquiry, the society members told the police that they suspect collusion by bank employees in the incident. “They suspect someone from the bank has facilitated the withdrawals without verifying it with them,” said the officer, adding that they are trying to trace the suspect with the help of his call data record.