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Two SBI officials arrested

- 4 held for major bank fraud in Arunachal Pradesh

Guwahati, Jan. 8: The CBI has held four persons, including two SBI officials, allegedly responsible for a bank fraud worth lakhs of rupees in Arunachal Pradesh.

A CBI source today told this correspondent that their investigation into the fraud had revealed that two officials of SBI’s Pasighat branch, including then branch manager, in connivance with two outsiders had sanctioned loans in the names of business units which exist only on paper.

According to him, the findings of their investigation and evidence collected by them had established that then branch manager Sakti Kumar Das and then field officer of the bank, M.C. Scaria, had allegedly entered into a conspiracy with Mahesh Kumar Pandey and Tabom Boje, the two other accused, and sanctioned loans to non-existent units between September 2006 and November 2007.

He said that the two bank officials were found to have flouted banking norms which resulted in “wrongful loss” to the bank.

“Our investigation has established that of 86 loans for an amount of around Rs 1.7 crore sanctioned by Das during his tenure as the manager of SBI’s Pasighat branch, 27 loans were extended to non-existent units. Das and Scaria had committed some major irregularities,” the source said.

“In this way they had allegedly caused a loss of Rs 99.6 lakh to the SBI,” the source said. “We have wound up our investigation and filed the chargesheets against the four accused in the court of special judge at Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh recently and the trial is expected to begin within the next couple of months,” he added.

The anti-corruption branch of the CBI in Guwahati had registered the case in December 2010, under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant), 477A (falsification of accounts), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Sections 13 (2), 13 (1) (c) and (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The source said their probe into another similar bank fraud in Arunachal Pradesh is also nearing an end and the chargesheet in that case is likely to be filed in a month or two.

He said that in this case, which was registered in 2011, it was found that UCO Bank branch in Papum Pare district in Arunachal Pradesh had incurred a loss of more than Rs 1 crore by extending loan to a private company of Arunachal Pradesh which is “owned by a school student” on paper.

“Our investigation has revealed that the owner of the private firm M/s S.K. Enterprise — to which the bank had extended a loan of Rs 1.35 crore — is a school student. The fraud was committed with the help of then bank manager P.K. Ghoshal,” he said.


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