Four employees of security agency held for embezzling ATM input money in Ludhiana | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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Four employees of security agency held for embezzling ATM input money in Ludhiana

Police commissioner RN Dhoke said the four men used to insert only 50% of the cash meant for ATMs, and kept the rest.

punjab Updated: Sep 01, 2017 11:01 IST
HT Correspondent
Police arrested the men  and recovered Rs 57 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh, six mobile phones, a laptop, a scooter, the ATM master key and admin card from their possession.
Police arrested the men and recovered Rs 57 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh, six mobile phones, a laptop, a scooter, the ATM master key and admin card from their possession. (PTI File/Representative image )

Four employees of a security agency SIS Cash Service have been held for embezzling Rs. 1.66 crore of banks and other companies from Ludhiana, police said on Thursday. Among other activities, they used the cash — most of it meant for putting into ATMs — for holidaying in Goa.

The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) police arrested the men — two each on Tuesday and Thursday — and recovered Rs 57 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh, six mobile phones, a laptop, a scooter, the ATM master key and admin card from their possession. Their modus operandi is similar to that of a gang of employees of another security agency who were arrested last November during the demonetisation period for stealing Rs 3.9 crore from ATMs of various banks.

In the current matter, a case under sections 408 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against them in Ludhiana on August 4. Several police teams were deputed for their arrest, and accused Varun Sachdev of Kishore Nagar of Tajpur Road and Harpreet Singh of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar of Daba, Ludhiana, were nabbed on August 29. On information provided by them, police arrested former SIS employee Sukhpal Singh alias Raunak of Bhatha Dhuha village and assistant manager Ranjit Kumar Singh on Thursday.

Ludhiana police commissioner RN Dhoke said SIS Cash Service had lodged a complaint alleging that Varun Sachdev and Harpreet Singh had collected cash Rs 8 lakh, 7 lakh, 15 lakh, 8 lakh and 19 lakh from Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank branches of Pakhowal Road; Bank of India from Jamalpur; Karnataka Bank in Sector 32; and Union Bank, Kesar Gunj Mandi, respectively to insert into their ATMs. But they did not carry out the task. The company alleged that a scan of the accounts revealed embezzlement of Rs 1.07 crore.

He added that Sukhpal and Ranjit were aware of the crime and had got money from Varun and Harpreet. Sukhpal, who had been terminated by the company and owed it Rs 3 lakh, paid off the dues with some of this money, police said. Ranjit used to alert Varun and Harpreet before any company audit.

Modus operandi: Link with November case

Police commissioner RN Dhoke said the four men used to insert only 50% of the cash meant for ATMs, and kept the rest. Taking advantage of loopholes in ATMs, they made forged entries about cash inserted. After the ATM stopped dispensing money, they would take cash from another ATM and insert in it, as they had access to various ATMs. After the embezzlement was reported, they fled to Delhi, from where they moved to Vrindavan in UP. From there, they went to Mumbai and Goa for holidaying.

The case has a link with a case from November last, when police had arrested four of nine employees of a security agency for theft of Rs 3.9 crore from ATMs in Ludhiana. The embezzlement had surfaced due to demonetisation; even as the crime had been taking place for “at least six years”. In case of auditing of the cash, the men used to deposit cash by taking it out from another ATM, as they had access to 32 ATMs of three banks. The circle went on.

The police chief said Harpreet was an employee of that agency before. He joined SIS and started the duping on the same lines.

Agency lapse: Cash on two-wheeler

The police also added that the men now accused used to transfer cash on scooters, even though they were supposed to do it in a security van with a guard. The commissioner said it was a lapse on the part of the security agency and the banks. Further, he added that the security agency did not verify the records of applicants before employing them. Most of the employees are not even graduates. The company pays them Rs 10,000 to 11,000 a month. Varun Sachdev, who was employed in November last, is facing trial in seven cases of cheque bounce. He was employed on the reference of Sukhpal. Harpreet was employed in December 2016.