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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

₹10 million fraud at LU: Police arrest three

lucknow Updated: Oct 12, 2019 22:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Police have arrested three persons in connection with the ₹ 1.09 crore (over ₹ 10 million) fraud at the Lucknow University. The money was withdrawn from the varsity’s bank account through 11 cloned cheques over the period of a year.

The arrested persons were nabbed in New Delhi and Patna on Saturday, said police.

Superintendent of police, trans-Gomti, Amit Kumar said, “We have arrested Sushil Kumar Yadav, a resident of Badarpur, New Delhi, along with Ronit Gupta and Amrendra Gupta of Patna, Bihar. The accounts of the arrested persons were used in receiving and transferring the money withdrawn fraudulently from LU’s bank account.”

Investigators said they were still looking at the money trail and were in search of the two masterminds – Pankaj Jain and Manas. They also said the arrests had deepened their suspicions regarding the involvement of varsity and bank officials in the fraud.

Five of the cloned cheques were presented by M/s Divya Electricals, registered in Delhi. It withdrew ₹49.9 lakh, which was deposited in the account of Sushil Kumar Yadav.

“Sushil was approached by Pankaj Jain who asked him his bank details. Jain paid him a margin of 10% to deposit the money in his account and let it be withdrawn. Jain is one the masterminds in the case. He has gone missing and we are trying to nab him,” said the SP.

The second supposed mastermind, identified as Manas, approached the other two arrested persons. “Amrendra is a taxi driver. He allowed ₹39.9 lakh to be deposited in his account at a margin of 10%. Ronit, who runs a firm, was given two cloned cheques amounting to a total of ₹ 19.9 lakh. He took a share of 5%. Manas is also absconding,” said Kumar.

Police said the arrested accused were used as pawns by Jain and Manas to stay under the police radar.

The two are also suspected to have links with bank and varsity officials. “It is suspected that someone from the varsity provided information about the cheques, while someone from the bank cleared as many as 11 cloned cheques. The role of bank officials is strongly suspected in the case because it is almost impossible for so many cheques to be cleared without raising any doubt,” said the SP.

“The investigation is looking at identifying the guilty bank officials. We are hopeful that once they are nabbed, we will be able to identify the varsity officials involved in the fraud,” he said.

The fraud came to light following an audit that found that ₹ 1.09 crore was withdrawn from LU’s account using cloned cheques from April 11, 2018 to May 1, 2019.

First Published: Oct 12, 2019 22:01 IST

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