How an ICICI Bank manager plotted ₹2.5 crore heist to meet business targets - Hindustan Times
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ICICI Bank shocker: Branch manager withdrew money from customer accounts to open new FDs, meet performance targets

Feb 15, 2024 04:35 PM IST

ICICI Bank branch manager in Rajasthan withdrew the money from customer accounts to open new fixed deposits, current and savings accounts and meet his targets.

An ICICI Bank branch manager and his accomplices met their performance targets for five years by withdrawing money from the bank accounts of customers at the branch in Rajasthan.

ICICI Bank branch manager and his accomplices in Rajasthan met their performance targets for five years by withdrawing money from the accounts of customers.(REUTERS)
ICICI Bank branch manager and his accomplices in Rajasthan met their performance targets for five years by withdrawing money from the accounts of customers.(REUTERS)

They allegedly withdrew the money to create an illusion of opening new fixed deposits, current and savings accounts, the Economic Times reported. The officials were blackmailed by someone who had came to know about their modus operandi.

To pay off the blackmailer, the branch manager and his aides withdrew more money from the accounts of ICICI Bank customers. According to Rajasthan Police officials, a total of 2.5 crore was paid to the Udaipur-based individual as hush money.

Amit Kumar, superintendent of police, Pratapgarh, told the website that preliminary probe revealed that the ICICI Bank branch manager and his aides carried out the heist due to the pressure of meeting performance targets. They were creating overdrafts against fixed deposits and used the money to open new current, saving and FD accounts, a term called 'Entry and Reverse Entry' in banking parlance.

After few days, these newly created accounts would be closed and the money would be routed back to the original accounts. This operation had been running for several years.

An ICICI Bank spokesperson assured the customers that they will not lose any money, adding that the bank has a zero-tolerance policy towards fraud and the employee involved has been suspended. ICICI Bank has also filed a complaint with the police.

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2.50 crore embezzled: Rajasthan Police

While the Rajasthan Police said that a total of 2.50 crore was embezzled, ICICI Bank officials claimed the amount was 2 crore. A special investigation team (SIT) was formed on February 7, which carried out a thorough interrogation of the branch manager. According to the ET report, investigation into the operation and misappropriation of the money was carried out and the SIT consulted the affected account holders and analysed their bank statements.

The Pratapgarh SP said that the ICICI Bank manager had been running this scam and no proper records were maintained. According to the police official, at least 62 bank accounts used for the operation had been frozen. These accounts had a balance of 62,71,490.

Besides seizing 46 lakh in cash, the police also confiscated the gold kept as lien for a gold loan taken by the individual who was blackmailing the bank manager. This individual has 19 cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion etc against him.

The investigating officials also found a paper trail evidence that help them conclude that 45 lakh siphoned from the bank was used by this individual to partly finance the purchase of a 3 crore farmhouse.

How did the ‘scam’ surface after so many years?

According to the ET report, the alleged scam surfaced after an ICICI Bank employee noticed that 70 lakh was missing from her friend's bank account. The concerned friend is believed to be privy to the wrongdoings and was allegedly told that this sum would be withdrawn and returned to his account after 3-4 days.

But the money was never returned to the account. The employee then confronted the bank manager but did not get a satisfactory reply. As a result, she reached out to the police which led to the revelation, SP Kumar told the website.

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