New Delhi: There is trouble in store for some senior officials of the state-run Syndicate Bank with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booking them on charges of fraud and cheating as part of their investigations into an alleged fraud to the tune of Rs 1,000 core.
Five senior bank officials have been booked under six sections of the IPC and the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on charges of causing an alleged loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the bank.
The CBI today conducted searches at 10 locations including Jaipur, Udaipur and New Delhi leading to the recovery of some incriminating documents. The searches were conducted at bank branches and the residences of bank employees, the CBI said today.
The alleged fraud includes the use of fake bills and providing overdraft limits against non-existent life insurance policies, the spokesperson said. According to the CBI, the said fraud was allegedly committed at branches of Syndicate Bank at Malviya Nagar & MI road branches in Jaipur and Udaipur.
It was further alleged that since 2011, the bank officials of branches at Jaipur and Udaipur colluded with customers and resorted to discounting of fake cheques, fake Inland Bills and arranging over-draft limit against non-existent LIC polices.
The amount involved in individual transactions ranged from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 5 crore. However, a majority of them were in the range of Rs. 2.5–4.0 crore (approx.) To avoid detection, many of these transactions were nullified from the proceeds of new fraudulent transactions.
The accused officials include former General Manager, FGM Office, Syndicate Bank, New Delhi; former DGM, Regional Office, Syndicate Bank Jaipur; former Chief Manager, MI Road Branch, Syndicate Bank, Jaipur; former AGM, Malviya Nagar Branch, Syndicate Bank, Jaipur and former AGM, Syndicate Bank, Udaipur. Besides, the CBI has also booked a Chartered Accountant and certain private companies among others in the case.
This is the second major scam to hit Syndicate Bank in the past two years. In 2014, the bank's CMD S K Jain was suspended and placed under arrest on charges of bribery. The agency has filed two cases against Jain, accusing him of receiving a bribe of Rs.50 lakh through conduits and abusing his official position to enhance the credit limits of some companies in violation of laid-down procedures.
Another state-run lender, Bank of Baroda, was also caught in the midst of a major controversy last year after agencies unearthed a massive money laundering scam involving Rs 6,172 crore.
It was alleged the black money was remitted from Bank of Baroda to Hong Kong camouflaged as payments for non-existent imports like cashew, pulses and rice. The amount was allegedly deposited in 59 accounts in cash as advance for imports that never existed.
It is also alleged that the amount was deposited in 59 accounts of the bank's Ashok Vihar branch (New Delhi) in cash as advance for import and the money was sent to some select companies in Hong Kong.
The massive scam at BoB also prompted the Reserve Bank of India into action. The central bank, in the aftermath of the scam, has asked all scheduled banks to conduct a thorough internal audit and place the report before their respective audit committees. A summary of the same also needs to be submitted before the RBI.