New Delhi: The CBI has arrested nine people for alleged swindling of over Rs 100 crore term deposits of Chennai Port Trust (CPT) in Indian Bank by foreclosing them, officials said Tuesday (August 10). The agency had started the probe on July 31, 2020, against officials of the bank, private persons and other unidentified people on the allegations that term deposits of CPT worth over Rs 100.57 crore maintained at the bank were foreclosed as part of the conspiracy and the amount was withdrawn and transferred to different accounts, they said.
“It was further alleged that a loss to the tune of Rs 45.40 crore was caused to Indian Bank by way of foreclosing/pre-closing of several term deposits,” Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson RC Joshi said. After over a year of exhaustive probe, the CBI on Monday night arrested nine people, identified as Ganesh Natarajan, V. Manimozhi, J. Selvakumar, K. Zakir Hussain, M. Vijay Heralld, M Rajesh Singh, S. Siyadh, S. Afsar and V. Sudalaimuthu.
Chennai Port Trust regularly invested in term deposits for which it had open tenders, which was bagged by the Koyembedu Branch of Indian Bank, they said. “In that process, a total of Rs 100.57 crore (approximately) was transferred from CPT in five investments against which 45 Term Deposits of different amounts were created. Out of the total amount invested, Rs 55.19 crore could be freezed after the detection of the fraud and the remaining Rs 45.40 crore were swindled by the accused,” Joshi said.
Once the deposits were created, Natarajan went to the branch introducing himself as the Deputy Director (Finance) of Chennai Port Trust, where he opened a fake current account in the name of CPT at the branch on the basis of forged documents.
“After the receipt of investment from CPT on every occasion, the Bank created term deposit receipts (Bond) against the said investment and the said bond was received by the accused (Natarajan) from the bank directly. Instead of delivering the original bond to CPT, the accused made duplicate bonds and submitted the forged bonds to CPT,” Joshi said.
With original bonds in possession, the accused allegedly approached the bank and pre-closed deposits within days of their creation. The amount was transferred to fake accounts of CPT created in the bank and further it was transferred to 28 different accounts.
“The amount was subsequently transferred to 28 different accounts, which was withdrawn by the account holders and handed over to the accused persons,” Joshi said.
The agency had carried out searches at 22 locations, including at Chennai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Nagercoil, which led to the recovery of several incriminating documents and material objects, he said.
Out of the nine arrested accused, eight were produced before a Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai and remanded to judicial custody, Joshi said. The remaining one accused arrested from Tirunelveli was taken on transit remand from the Competent Court, he said.