Five from Bihar, Delhi detained for questioning in fraud caseUpdated: Oct 09, 2019 23:39 IST
Police on Wednesday detained five persons from Bihar and Delhi in connection with the fraud in which ₹1.09 crore (over ₹10 million) was siphoned off from the Lucknow University’s bank account in one year using cloned cheques.
“We have nabbed some suspects whose bank accounts were used for depositing the money fraudulently. We are questioning them to get details about the cash movement,” said superintendent of police (SP), Trans Gomti, Amit Kumar.
Kumar said the police teams are trying to trace the money trail form the moment it was withdrawn from LU’s bank account. “The money was transferred in smaller amounts to several accounts, to make the money trail complex. The suspects are being questioned about it so that we could reach to the masterminds,” said the SP.
According to Hasanganj police investigating the matter, the transactions were done in the names of fake firms in Delhi, UP and Bihar. Of the 11 fraudulent transactions, five were made by one M/s Divya Electricals registered in New Delhi. Another firm, KK Constructions, is registered in Ballia district of UP while five others are registered at different locations in Bihar. The transactions were done between April 11, 2018 to May 1, 2019 and the fraud came to notice during a financial audit.
The two police teams were sent to Delhi and Bihar who checked the registered address of the firms. None of the addresses were found to be authentic, but investigators managed to get hold of few people who were linked with some bank accounts in which the money was transferred fraudulently.
“The masterminds behind the fraud used bank accounts of different people to deposit and withdraw money. These people in most cases were not aware about the transactions and were usually paid a small amount to allow their accounts to be used,” said a police official’s privy to the investigation.
Investigators also suspect the role of LU and the bank officials in facilitating the fraud. “The cheques which were cloned were issued in year 2000, and it is very difficult to clone such old cheques without the involvement of varsity officials. Further 11 of these cloned cheques were processed by the same bank which is also impossible to be done without involvement of bank officials,” the officer added.
As per the preliminary investigation, police believe that fraud is bigger than what it was claimed by the varsity officials. Last week, LU vice-chancellor Prof SP Singh, while speaking to media, had informed that as many as 11 cheques were cloned through which ₹1,09,82,935 was withdrawn. The university had issued cheques of much lower amounts.
The fraudster cloned the cheques (using LU’s cheque numbers) and produced them at (UCO) bank, siphoning off the money. “We have reported the matter to the senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithani,” said the V-C.
First Published: Oct 09, 2019 23:39 IST