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Bank manager used cancelled cheques to steal Rs 79 crore over 2 yrs

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Bengaluru: In a shocking revelation following a probe, a bank official in Vijayapura was found to have fabricated cancelled cheques of various banks and mis-used them to steal money.

Vijayasarathi, a cluster manager at ICICI Bank, Vijayapura was caught fleeing after unauthorisedly withdrawing Rs. 1.5 crore. This led to uncovering a larger scam of misuse of Rs. 79 crore by the same person over a period of nearly two years.

Tried to flee using fake passport; Arrested

He had been absconding since July 2015 and was recently arrested from the Indo-Nepal border while trying to flee using a fake Nepali passport.

The case was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 2015 after Vijayasarathi and his suspected accomplice Sachin Annappa Patil, a customer service officer with the bank, fled with the money.

The duo, it is learnt had stolen a large sum of money using cancelled cheques from large institutional investors.

The probe has now revealed that instead of depositing the money of these institutions in Fixed Deposits (FD), which earn an interest of around 6 per cent, Vijayasarathi had deposited the money in Savings Bank (SB) accounts, causing a loss of interest to the institutional customers. But this boosted the performance record of Vijayasarathi.

The money was then deposited in SB accounts in such a way that the manager could withdraw the same. That is where cancelled cheques of these institutional investors came handy.

All such cheques were misused to withdraw the money from the customer’s SB accounts.

It is shocking that this scam went unnoticed for over two years as the institutional customers were unaware of the diversion of large sums to their SB accounts.

The scam was exposed when an unauthorised withdrawal of Rs. 1.5 crore was flagged down in July 2015.

However, Vijayasarathi absconded with the cash.

Following a complaint to the local police, Vijayasarathi reportedly called up the bank and police, and led them to the cash.

However, the case was transferred to the CID after many such transactions were discovered.

During the course of the investigation, it was found that despite being at large, Vijayasarathi had purchased several properties, including a palatial house in Vijayapura, six acres of agricultural land in Dakshina Kannada district, a house in JP Nagar, Bengaluru worth Rs. two crores in the name of his girlfriend Renuka Shetty, two acres of agricultural land in the name of Sudeep Shetty (Renuka Shetty’s brother), 3.5 acres in Sankeshwar, 1.25 acres in Vijayapura in the name of Sachin Annappa Patil.

The investigation officer has recovered Rs. 1.5 crores cash, six luxury cars and frozen Rs. 51 lakhs in the bank account of Renuka Shetty.

Police have attached all these properties and booked Renuka Shetty.

 

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