Odisha Crime Branch busts racket involved in Rs1.04 cr fraud

Bhubaneswar: The Cyber Crime Unit of Odisha Crime Branch has busted a racket allegedly involved in misappropriation of money to the tune of more than Rs1.04 crores deposited in the ICICI Bank, Dhenkanal Branch during 2021-22, said a CB official Sunday.

The Crime Branch (CB) has so far arrested three persons including a couple. The accused were identified as Swagatika Swain (28), her husband Manoj Kumar Sahoo (29), and their associate, Prasant Kumar Sahoo.

Swagatika was posted at the Dhenkanal branch of the private bank as the relationship manager while accused Prasant, works as the Deputy Bank Manager.

The fraud came to fore when some customers of the bank’s Dhenkanal branch complained to the bank authorities about some suspicious unauthorised transactions from their ICICI bank accounts.

“The bank had got an internal enquiry done and it was ascertained that fraudulent transactions were carried out in the form of unauthorised overdraft against fixed deposits. Such over-drafts were availed through i-Mobile application, fake investments in mutual funds, pre-closure of FD and misappropriation of premium amounts related to ICICI prudential policy. Swagatika had carried out the alleged disputed transactions for personal gain. All the alleged transactions were done from February 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022,” stated the CB official.

Later, the Regional Head of the ICICI Bank’s Financial Crime Prevention Group lodged a complaint with the Crime Branch in December last year. The CB launched an investigation registering a case (33/23) in this regard.

The sleuths found, during the course of the investigation, that the accused Swagatika, the then Relationship Manager, was entrusted to provide door-step service to the elite customers of the branch.

“The accused couple targeted mostly the senior citizens who were less aware about the use of electronic gadgets and online banking and in the veil of maintaining good relationships with such customers; the couple used to access their personal details and gradually started misusing the trust. As a banker, Swagatika had access to the banking system. She could even change the registered phone numbers of targeted accounts violating the rules, without the knowledge of the Account Holder and keeping them in the dark about the fraudulent transactions,” added the CB official.

The accused couple used to invest the ill-gotten money with a money lender. The cops also suspect the involvement of the Deputy Branch Manager and Manager of the said branch through their silent approval of such acts.

The back has so far reimbursed misappropriated money to the tune of Rs87,54, 047 belonging to 11 defrauded account holders.


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