Two more held in Rs 3.70-crore bank fraud case in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, March 10 (IANS) Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police has arrested two persons including a banker in connection with a Rs 3.70 crore bank fraud case.

The prime accused Sarojkanta Mohapatra was arrested from Cuttack on Saturday while the other accused, Angel Mishra was apprehended from Puri on Sunday.

The duo was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Sandeep Pattnaik, General Manager, IDBI Bank, Bhubaneswar.

Patnaik alleged in his complaint that Mohapatra, the former Branch manager in connivance with accused Mishra and the ex-assets officer of IDBI’s Dandamukundapur Branch, Tanmaya Maharana had misappropriated public money to the tune of Rs 3.7 crore and illegally sanctioned 35 fictitious loans (mostly MUDRA loans), in favour of their close relatives using forged documents.

“It was found that the government cash of Rs 3.7 crore was deposited in two bank accounts of Block Development Officer (BDO), Pipili block maintained with IDBI Bank, Dandamukundapur Branch, Pipili. During 2018, BDO, Pipili, had requested the bank for Flexi Fixed Deposit (FFD) of the above amount, and as per the advice of former Branch manager, accused Mohapatra, the then BDO of Pipili had issued seven “Yourself” cheques for the purpose,” said EOW sources.

The BDO office was also falsely intimated by the accused that the amount had been deposited in flexi account and also provided details of interest to be accrued upon the deposit.

The fraud came to fore when the BDO sought the details of the Flexi Account and the statements of the account in 2022. The bank officials informed the BDO that no such FFD has ever been created from the accounts of BDO, Pipili.

Following the confusion, the bank launched an internal investigation and was shocked to find out that Rs 3.70 crore of Pipili Block Office deposited with the bank has been misappropriated by the accused bank officials.

The probe also revealed that Mohapatra and Maharana, the respective Ex-Branch Manager and Ex-Asset Officer of the particular Branch, had fraudulently created 35 fictitious MUDRA loans amounting to Rs 10 lakhs each in the name of their close relatives without the knowledge of the loanees who neither applied nor availed the loans.

Meanwhile, Mohapatra and Maharana closed the Mudra loan accounts by diverting the amount of the Pipili Block Office to avoid getting caught during the audit. The loan amounts were found to have been transferred to the SBI account of accused Mishra, who is a close friend of prime accused Mohapatra.

Notably, EOW had arrested accused Maharana in the case a few days ago.

Mishra is also involved in another fraud case registered at the Khandagiri Police station here in September 2022. The prime accused Mohapatra is also involved in a Rs 18 crore bank fraud case registered by the Bhopal STF, Madhya Pradesh Police in 2020.



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