UP: Alert bank officials prevent Rs 120 cr fraud, 7 arrested

Lucknow: A joint team of the Cyber Cell and Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested seven members of a gang that had siphoned Rs 120 crore off the bank account of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), the police said.

According to police, while posing as AKTU officials, the fraudsters first opened an account in the university’s name at a branch of a nationalised bank where the varsity already had an account.

Thereafter, they tricked the bank officials into transferring Rs 120 crore in five instalments to the new account and from there the money was transferred to an account of a Gujarat-based charitable trust in another nationalised bank.

This transaction raised doubts in the minds of bank officials who got an audit done and discovered the fraud.

The officials then informed police which arrested seven men on Tuesday, alleged to be involved in the crime.

Police say that the gang had procured a letter required for the transfer of funds from the public sector bank’s branch manager, Anuj Kumar Saxena, and impersonated AKTU’s authorised signatory to open the second bank account.

They then procured cheque books and transferred the money to the Gujarat-based company’s bank account.

Those arrested were identified as Devendra Prasad Prabha Shankar Joshi and Uday Patel from Gujarat, Rajesh Babu of Unnao, Girish Chandra and Shailesh Kumar Raghuvanshi of Lucknow, Dastgeer Alam of Amethi and Krishna Kant of Basti district.

The police also succeeded in recovering Rs 119 crore from the accused by getting the payment stopped.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Prabal Pratap Singh, said the miscreants procured the email ID of the bank by contacting the bank’s branch manager who was on vacation.

The miscreants sent a fake letter to the Jankipuram branch in which AKTU has a bank account, asking them to transfer the money in AKTU’s FD account at the Vidhan Sabha Marg branch.

“The miscreants had opened a fake FD account in the name of AKTU. They then transferred the money in a company’s account and withdrew around Rs 1 crore,” the DCP added.

In his complaint on June 12, bank manager Anuj Kumar Saxena had said that during his outing in Manali on June 3, he got a call from a man who introduced himself as Shailesh Kumar Raghuvanshi, who asked him to share his visiting card as he needed to make a fixed deposit.

Saxena added that he sent Raghuvanshi to the bank and asked a bank official to take up his case.

“On the next day, I got a call from one Jai Singh who introduced himself as the finance officer of AKTU, asking for the FD rate at the bank. The next day they got Rs 49 crore, Rs 49 crore and Rs 22 crore transferred to the Vidhan Sabha Marg branch from the Jankipuram branch,” he said.

He also added that the bank sensed the foul play and requested the Gujarat bank in which the trust has a bank account to stop the payment.


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