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WB bank fraud accused now scam suspects

Ten fraudsters nabbed by city police detectives have been held as prime accused in the Rs 83 cr scam that hit WBIDFC

kolkata Updated: Mar 15, 2013 12:13 IST

Six people arrested by the anti-bank-fraud squad and another four arrested by the anti-fraud section, both of the Kolkata Police detective department, are the prime suspects in the Rs 83 - crore scam that hit the West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (WBIDFC) on March 13.

The six arrested by the anti bank-fraud squad were accused of siphoning Rs 17 crore from the state's marketing department, and Animesh Chakravorty, Manish Datta, Jagadish Nashkar and Shintu Datta were involved in stealing Rs 5 crore from the Bengal Fisheries and Animal Husbandry university from Bank of India.

Police suspect that these men were involved in scamming WBIDFC's money from the UCO Bank's Circus Avenue branch. On Thursday, cops arrested the bank's branch manager Alois Lakra.

Sources in the anti bank-fraud section claimed that in August 2012, WBIDFC received a fax from the bank, saying that it wanted to join the bid for WBIDFC's money and offered higher interest rates to win over their fixed deposit account. The sender's fax number was missing from the fax.

WBIDFC also received a letter from UCO Bank, with the account number and Indian Financial System Code, which identifies the bank code, city code, branch code and account number.

On receiving the letter, WBIDFC instructed the Bank of India's Corporate Branch and Indian Bank to transfer the Rs 59 crore and Rs 61 crore deposited at the respective banks to UCO's Circus Avenue branch via Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).

The money was transferred to the UCO Bank on January 10, but instead of depositing the amount in the WBIDFC's account, it all went to a second, unrelated account belonging to SA Enterprises.

The entire amount was transferred to various bank accounts via RTGS before being withdrawn. Investigations revealed that the faxes sent in UCO bank's name were forged.

The branch manager was interrogated for failing to inform higher authorities despite the fact that more than Rs 5 crore were deposited.

Lakra failed to satisfactorily answer the cops' questions as to why he was reluctant to inquire about the transfer of the funds from his bank to others.

Police also suspect that the ten arrested, who are currently in jail, may be involved in this case also, and plan to interrogate them soon. WBIDFC filed an FIR with the city at Lalbazar on Wednesday.

First Published: Mar 15, 2013 12:10 IST