The state-run West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (WBIDFC) has allegedly been duped of Rs 120 crore.
The corporation, involved in funding infrastructure projects, had transferred the amount to open two fixed deposits. Though the WBIDFC received the certificates, the fixed deposit accounts with the Circus Avenue branch of UCO Bank were allegedly in the name of another company, an investigation revealed.
The WBIDFC chairman, ISI professor Abhirup Sarkar, met city police chief Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Wednesday and lodged a complaint.
“The WBDIFC had invested Rs 120 crore in two instalments, first in August last year (Rs 59 crore) and then in January this year (Rs 61 crore) in fixed deposits. The corporation had received certificates against the FDs, which later turned out to be forged. An inquiry is being conducted,” a police officer said.
Sources said both the FDs were opened in the Circus Avenue branch of UCO Bank. “This branch was selected because they offered a favourable rate of interest,” Sarkar said.
The money was transferred through the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) route from Indian Bank and Bank of India (BoI).
Police sources said the fixed deposit accounts were opened in the name of another company and not WBIDFC. The corporation had received the FD certificates from the bank in its name.
“The fixed deposits were for three years. Principal and interest are paid at term-end. So we had not looked into the details of the account,” Sarkar said. The corporation opened the FD accounts for redeeming bonds that it had released to raise funds for projects.
Sources said the fraud was detected after a CBI probe detected several irregularities in transactions between BoI and UCO Bank. The CBI informed BoI about the anomalies and the bank passed the information to the corporation.
“The corporation released the funds from other accounts to open the FDs which got debited in fake accounts,” the officer said.
Sarkar skirted queries if he suspected the involvement of WBIDFC officials. UCO Bank declined comment.