Bank employee, accomplices siphon off Rs 38 lakh from dead woman's account

Jan 07, 2014, 11:25 IST | Shruti Sonthalia

Fraud came to light after the ICICI bank's Chandigarh branch wrote to Dadar branch, informing its officials about transactions done from Govind Kaur's account, which had remained unused for a long time

An ICICI Bank employee and two of his accomplices were arrested for siphoning off lakhs of rupees from a dead woman’s account. The accused were identified as Mahendra Gurav (ICICI Employee), Rajesh Jamkar and Balu Gatte. “While Gurav and Jamkar are old friends and stay in Wadala, Gatte is from Mahim,” said sub-inspector Atul Adurkar of Matunga police station.


Mystery unfolds
The incident came to light after ICICI Bank’s Chandigarh branch sent an email to the Dadar branch, informing it about transaction of huge amounts from Govind Kaur’s account, as it had been unused for a long time. A resident of UK, Kaur passed away in December (as told by her son). Sensing that something was amiss, Deputy Manager Rekha Laad (Dadar branch) lodged a complaint at the Matunga police

Based on the investigation and evidence Adurkar and his team collected, Gurav, Jamkar and Gatte were arrested for the fraud on Saturday. The trio was produced in court on Sunday and was remanded in police custody till January 10. All three were booked under sections 408, 420, 465, 467, 468, 470 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.

Modus operandi
Within 46 days - November 11 to December 27, 2013 - the trio withdrew Rs 38 lakh of Rs 49 lakh from Kaur’s account. It was Gurav who had identified the account and hatched the plot to siphon money. “From ICICI Bank, the amount was transferred to Dhanlaxmi Bank’s Matunga branch, in which Shirodkar had opened an account. The amount was transferred in four parts - Rs 19 lakh, Rs 4.65 lakh, Rs 9 lakh and Rs 5.35 lakh - via cheques,” said Senior Inspector Raghuvendra Thakur of Matunga police station.

The amount was transacted with two names, Sandeep Kale (three cheques) and Nitin Shirodkar (one cheque). While Gatte opened an account using the fake identity of Kale, he fooled his friend Shirodkar into letting him use his account. Police officials said Shirodkar was innocent and would not be arrested. Gurav is a commerce graduate and has been working at the bank for the last 2.5 years. None of the three accused are history-sheeters and the officials said they committed the crime to clear their debts.

ICICI says

The Bank has a policy of zero tolerance for any frauds or misdemeanors by any of its employees. The employee who was found involved prima facie in this case has been suspended pending further investigation. The Bank proactively filed a police complaint and facilitated the investigation which led to the arrests of those involved. This is an isolated incident and the Bank would like to re-assure its customers of its strong and robust processes. The Bank will continue to extend its full co-operation to the police authorities in their ongoing investigation

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