A debt-ridden executive of a reputed private bank and his two accomplices have been arrested for allegedly stealing Rs 49 lakh from the account of a dead NRI since November last year, police said today.
The bank employee carried out the theft by transferring the amount to a fake account opened by his accomplice in another bank.
Accused Mahendra Gurav (32), a customer service manager with ICICI Bank’s Dadar branch, his friends Rajesh Jamkar(39) and Ballu Gate alias Sandeep Kale (32) were apprehended after the ICICI Bank notified the Matunga police following an internal probe during which the fraud came to light, police said.
Police have recovered Rs 15.5 lakh while a fake account having Rs 11 lakh has been frozen.
According to Matunga police, Gurav, who had been facing financial crisis, was searching for a dormant account when he stumbled upon an NRI account of Gobind Kaur, a senior citizen who had settled in the UK. She had the account with the bank’s Chandigarh’s branch.
Gurav procured cheque leaflets for the account and the specimen signature. He then contacted Jamkar, who asked Kale to open an account with a co-operative bank in Matunga. Gurav then issued four cheques with Kaur’s fake signatures between November 11 and December 27.
With the help of the cheques, about Rs 49.28 lakh was transferred to Kale’s account that had been fraudulently opened. Cash had also been withdrawn from the fake account as and when required by the accused, police said.
Kaur’s family in the UK was unaware of the fraud till the Chandigarh branch of ICICI Bank contacted her family, which said Kaur had passed away on December 3.
A mail was sent on January 1 this year to Dadar branch Deputy Manager Rekha Lad about the fraud from the bank’s Chandigarh branch. An internal probe was subsequently carried out, following which the bank complained to police on January 4.
It gave details of the co-operative bank in Matunga where the four cheques were cleared.
Based on the inputs from both banks, DCP (zone IV) Dattatray Karale formed a special team and nabbed Kale when he came to withdraw money on January 4. Kale then led the police to Gurav and Jamkar the same day.