Six officials of Union Bank of India booked in illegal money transfer case

Six officials of Union Bank of India booked in illegal money transfer case

Bengaluru | A case has been registered against six officials of the Union Bank of India for allegedly fraudulently diverting around Rs 94.73 crore of the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation Ltd to various other bank accounts, police said on Thursday.

The action comes after an official of the Corporation died by suicide on Sunday, leaving behind a note in which he named the Managing Director J G Padmanabh, Accounts Officer Parashuram G Durugannavar and Union Bank of India Chief Manager Suchismita Rawal.

In a statement, the Union Bank of India on Thursday said the bank had promptly declared the transactions in question as fraudulent when the irregularities came to light. To ensure a thorough investigation and swift identification of the culprits, the bank has filed a formal complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The bank has also placed three branch officials under suspension pending further inquiry.

In the complaint filed on May 28, A Rajashekar, General Manager of the Corporation, has alleged "severe fraudulent activities" involving the top management of Union Bank of India, MG Road branch here and other third parties, which have caused "substantial financial and reputational damage" to the organisation.

He said on February 19, the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation transferred its account from Vasanthnagar branch to M G Road branch of the national bank.

"A total of Rs 187.33 crore was transferred from various banks and the State Huzur Treasury Khajane-II to our savings Bank account at Union Bank of India, MG Road Branch," he said.

Citing the model code of conduct, the corporation did not communicate with the bank. Consequently, the bank failed to send the new passbook and cheque book to our registered address, he said in the complaint.

When officials visited the branch on May 21 to collect the documents, they were denied by the branch officer, who later visited the corporation office on May 22, claiming that the documents were already issued, which was found to be untrue.

"Further perusal revealed numerous forged letters, forged cheques, and RTGS requests with fake signatures of the officers and Account Officer, forged/fake board resolution leading to unauthorised disbursements of funds from the organisation's bank account".

Upon verification of the passbook, it was found that Rs 94.73 crore was disbursed from the account by the national bank, based on forged documents.

The complainant accused the management of Union Bank of India of 'failing' to address the illegalities and continuing to act in such an illegal manner, being fully aware of such fraudulent acts being carried out by the branch officials and other third parties.

Further, upon being made aware of these acts, one of the employees of the corporation, Chandrashekar P, who was the Account Superintendent, died by suicide after naming the Managing Director, Accounts officer and the Chief Manager in the suicide note, the complaint alleged.

"Given the blatant illegal acts committed by the top management, bank officials, we request immediate action against A Manimekhalai, MD and CEO, Union Bank of India, Nitesh Ranjan, Ramasubramanium, Sanjay Rudra, Pankaj Dwivedi, the Executive Directors and Suchishitha Raul, the Chief Manager of Union Bank of India, MG Road and other involved parties," it added.

Based on the complaint, an FIR has been registered at High Grounds Police Station here. Further investigation is underway into the matter which is being probed by the CID team, the police said.

The Union Bank of India said the bank is cognisant of the alleged fraudulent transactions in the accounts of the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation Limited (a Government of Karnataka Undertaking) which happened at its MG Road Branch, Bengaluru.

"The bank promptly declared the transactions in question as fraudulent, when the irregularities came to light. To ensure a thorough investigation and swift identification of the culprits, we have filed a formal complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) vide complaint number ROBNGE/1649:2024 dated May 30. Additionally, three branch officials have been placed under suspension pending further inquiry," it said in a statement.

The bank said it is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency and is taking all necessary steps to prevent such incidents.

"We are fully cooperating with the authorities to resolve this matter justly and expeditiously. Our dedication to our customers and stakeholders remains our top priority, and we are taking all necessary steps to prevent such incidents," it added.

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