By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 3: Serious question marks have been raised over the safety of bank accounts, especially those maintained in private banks, following incidents of fraud where bank staff have been found to be involved. The latest case in point is the fraud committed on customers by the deputy manager of IndusInd Bank, Bhangagarh branch in the city.
As already reported, deputy manager Olivia Dutta Choudhury had defrauded several accounts maintained in the branch in connivance with her husband Shankar Sinha, who works as branch manager in Gangtok in the same bank. While Sinha has been arrested, his wife is still at large.
The lid was blown of the fraud when one Biraj Goswami noticed unauthorised transactions of cash from his account at the Bhangagarh branch of the bank. Smelling a rat, he lodged an FIR at Paltan Bazar police station on 29th July, following which the police raided the bank and the bank authority lodged an FIR against Choudhury at Paltan Bazar police station.
Thereafter, another customer of the bank, Malabika Sarma, also detected authorized transactions from her account. She also lodged an FIR at Paltan Bazar police station. She has allegedly been defrauded of Rs 2.78 crore.
Probing the cases, the police arrested Sinha and found Rs 55 lakh in his account.
Meanwhile, another customer on Thursday lodged an FIR at Paltan Bazar police station leveling similar allegation. Bidyut Jyoti Kalita of Gitanagar area of the city lodged the FIR as he noticed withdrawal of Rs 28 lakh without his authorisation from his account with the IndusInd Bank Bhangagarh branch. A case (no. 731/17) has been registered following the FIR.
On the other hand, the police raided the residence of the deputy manager, who is absconding with her seven-month-old infant, in Bagorbori area of the city on Thursday and recovered two cheque books in the names of Sudhir Roy and Phani Sarma.
The police suspect that the lady bank official used forged signatures of customers to make illegal transactions. She also allegedly used IT-enabled software of the bank, including NEST, to withdraw money from the customers.
Further investigations are on into the case. The police estimate the fraud to be above Rs 3 crore.