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Nigeria deports con man of crores

New Delhi, July 3: A person wanted in connection with defrauding banks spread across four states of about Rs 24 crore has been deported from Nigeria.

The CBI said Karunakaran Vijay was arrested when he landed at the Mumbai airport this morning accompanied by Nigeria police. Sleuths later took him on a domestic flight to Bangalore where he will be produced in a local court.

“No problem. I am back here. Don’t worry,” Vijay said in Bangalore as he was whisked away.

Vijay is accused of entering into a criminal conspiracy with bank employees to cheat five banks in Goa, Bangalore, Chennai and Bhubaneswar to the tune of Rs 24 crore by securing loans against fake documents, a CBI spokesman said.

Vijay was arrested in Nigeria some time ago on the basis of a red-corner notice issued against him by Interpol on August 28, 2001. After Delhi was informed about his arrest, the Indian embassy secured his deportation, said the spokesman.

The deported man had allegedly cheated Corporation Bank in Bangalore of Rs 10.25 crore, Union Bank of India in Bhubaneswar of Rs 6.11 crore, Canara Bank and Indian Overseas Bank in Chennai of Rs 3.06 crore and Rs 4.19 crore, respectively, and Goa’s Corporation Bank of Rs 48 lakh.

The CBI had filed cases against him and several bank employees under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code around three years ago. Four chargesheets have already been filed, while investigations into the Goa case are still to be completed, bureau officials said.

Immediately after the cases were registered against him, Vijay, a resident of Bangalore, fled the country.

Courts declared him a proclaimed offender after he failed to respond to warrants seeking his appearance.

The CBI alleged that his modus operandi was the same in all banks. He mobilised deposits of non-resident Indians, called Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) deposits, in these banks and then forged documents to secure loans against them.

On record, he showed other purposes for the utilisation of the loans, but diverted the money for his personal use, the CBI alleged.

With his arrest, the trial in the cases will progress smoothly, the spokesman added.

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