CBI arrests 9 accused in bank fraud case involving Chennai Port Trust


The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested nine people on Tuesday in an ongoing investigation of a case related to bank fraud involving the foreclosure of Chennai Port Trust’s fixed deposits.

A CBI spokesperson said that the agency has arrested Ganesh Natarajan, V Manimozhi, J Selvakumar aka Selvam, K Zakir Hussain, M Vijay Heralld, M Rajesh Singh, S Siyadh, S Afsar, and V Sudalaimuthu aka Annachi, in connection with the case.

The CBI had registered a case on July 31 last year on a complaint from the Indian Bank in Chennai against two private persons, the branch manager of Indian Bank’s Koyambedu Branch in Chennai, and other unknown public servants and private persons on the allegations of fraud, forgery, and impersonation with the intention to cheat the bank to the tune of Rs 100.57 crore.

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The complaint further alleged that a loss to the tune of Rs 45.4 crore was caused to Indian Bank by way of foreclosing or pre-closing of several term deposits (fixed deposits) created in the name of the Chennai Port Trust (CPT) and also transferring or withdrawing the said amount through various accounts etc.

It was also alleged that the accused in conspiracy with each other canvassed the bank and the CPT for opening of term deposits in the Koyembedu Branch, Indian Bank and accordingly, 45 term deposits (FD) were created during the period between March 2020 and May 2020.

According to the official, one of the accused allegedly impersonated himself as Deputy Director (Finance) of Chennai Port Trust and opened a fake current account in the CPT’s name at Koyambedu Branch.

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“After the receipt of investment from the CPT on every occasion, the bank created term deposit receipts (bond) against the said investment and the said bond was received by the accused from the bank directly. Instead of delivering the original bond to the CPT, the accused made duplicate bonds and submitted the forged bonds to the CPT,” the official said.

It was further alleged that having original bonds in possession, the accused allegedly presented the same before the Koyambedu Branch of Indian Bank and pre-closed the term deposits one after another within few days of their creation, the official said.

“The money received from the pre-closure of term deposits was allegedly credited into the fake current account created in the name of the CPT by the accused and subsequently transferred to 28 different accounts,” he said, adding, “This money was withdrawn by the 28 account holders and handed over to the accused.”

The CPT was continuously investing in term deposits and the same was allegedly pre-closed by the accused one after another.

In that process, a total of Rs 100.57 crore was transferred from the CPT in five investments against which 45 term deposits of different amounts were created.

The officials said, “Out of the total amount invested, Rs. 55.19 crore could be freezed after the detection of the fraud and remaining Rs. 45.4 crore were swindled by the accused.”

Searches were earlier conducted at 22 locations including at Chennai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Nagercoil which led to recovery of several incriminating documents and material objects.

Out of nine arrested accused, eight were produced before a CBI court in Chennai and remanded to judicial custody. Remaining one accused arrested from Tirunelveli was taken on transit remand from the court.

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