Oshiwara police on Thursday unearthed a bank fraud which could run into several crores. “Initial investigations revealed that the scam could be well over Rs10 crore,” said a senior officer from Oshiwara police station.
The police said that the incident came to light after the ICICI bank authorities complained regarding a Rs58-lakh fraud which was committed in their Lokhandwala branch.
“They sent a letter saying some unidentified persons had transferred money from the accounts of some of their prestigious clients,” said senior inspector Kiran Sonone from Oshiwara police station.
After primary investigations, the police arrested Aatun Bhushan, manager of the ICICI bank, Lokhandwala branch and Chetan Anand, a clerk. “We are now on the lookout for other people who may be involved in the scam,” he further said.
According to Sonone, the fraud was carried out by allegedly transferring huge amounts of money from Mumbai to an account in Dharwad, Karnataka, belonging to one Salim Shirhati.
“A police team was dispatched for Dharwad to arrest Shirhati. During interrogation, he revealed that the manager and the clerk had provided him with vital details of several bank accounts. Also, Bhushan and Anand received 10% commission for every transaction,” said Sonone.
Shirhati also revealed that he worked for one Shaikh Rashid Ansari, who had masterminded the fraud. He claimed that once the money was transferred in his account, he handed it over to Ansari.
Police further learnt that two other accused, Suresh Kulkarni and Bharat Magdul, had forged signatures of the account holders with Bhushan and Anand’s help.
Despite the large sum of money that was swindled, the police have been able to recover only Rs50,000. “However, further investigations are on. We will be able to crack the case once Ansari is arrested,” said Sonone.
By Jyoti Shelar