Three customers of UCO bank Dibrugarh branch have collectively lost over Rs 35 lakh after cash was withdrawn from their accounts through fraudulent transactions. The money was taken away from the three saving bank accounts through fraudulent means.
Officer-in-charge of Dibrugarh police station Siddheswar Borah said that the incidents came to light after a 75-year-old retired professor of the local Dibrugarh Hanumanbax Surajmall Kanoi (DHSK) Commerce College Madan Mohan Goswami lodged a complaint at the bank about the disappearance of Rs 10.8 lakh from his savings bank account.
An internal inquiry by the bank found that the amount was withdrawn through a UCO Bank branch located in Hyderabad through a single cheque on September 24.
Madan Mohan Goswami said, “Interestingly my phone number got blocked the same day the fraudulent withdrawal was made. I did not receive any intimation about the withdrawal because my phone was blocked. I don’t know how it happened. The second day I went to change my SIM and after receiving the new SIM card of the same number a message came to me through which I came to know that somebody had fraudulently withdrawn my money through duplicate cheque. If bank is not safe then where we will deposit our hard earn money.”
He said that bank officials are involved in the racket. “It is a big racket many people’s are involved in the racket. I don’t know how my money was withdrawn from my account but I need my money,” he asserted.
It is suspected that his phone number was cloned.
During the investigation, it was also found that the branch manager of the Hyderabad UCO bank branch also called up the number before executing the transaction and only after getting the confirmation from the customer the cheque was encashed.
However the retired professor has denied receiving any calls from the bank. Based on his FIR, a case (1547/18) was registered by the police on September 29 at the Dibrugarh police station under sections 406/420 of the IPC.
The other two cases of frauds in the UCO Bank Dibrugarh branch were detected on October 3 after the bank authorities carried out an internal investigations on all big-ticket transactions carried out by them recently. It was discovered that two fraudulent transactions were carried out in a similar manner in the name of two of its customers.
In one case, an amount of Rs 15 lakh was withdrawn from the account of RK Garodia of RK Garodia and Sons Limited, while another amount of Rs 10.8 lakh was withdrawn from the account of one Bisweswar Chakraborty.
In both the cases, the fraudulent transactions were carried out through cheques from a Chennai-based branch of the UCO bank on September 20.
Notably, all the three victims of fraud are senior citizens and residents of Dibrugarh town. On learning about the fraud, RK Garodia on Thursday filed an FIR at the Dibrugarh police station and a case (1578/18) has been registered under sections 120 (b), 406/420/467/468 of the IPC. On the other hand, the other victim Bisweswar Chakraborty is yet to file an FIR till Thursday afternoon.
Acharjee Sonowal, the chief manager of UCO Bank Dibrugarh, said, “We have already launched an inquiry into the three cases. The two branches at Hyderabad and Chennai from where the transactions were carried are also carrying out their own investigation. The customers will get back their money if it is established that they have not done the transactions.”
When asked about bank official involvement into the case, he said he cannot say anything before the completion of the internal inquiry.
Dibrugarh PS Officer-in-Charge Borah said investigation process has been started. He, however, refused to say anything about the involvement of bank official into the case as the investigation is at early stage.