Police on Monday confiscated Rs 1.27 crore from Alios Lakra, the arrested senior manager of UCO Bank’s Circus Avenue branch accused of swindling Rs 120 crore from the government-run West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (WBIDFC).
Police sources said Rs 70 lakh was seized from Lakra’s home and another Rs 57 lakh from two accounts — in the Manicktala and India Exchange Place branches of UCO Bank — in his name.
“We suspect that Lakra had gained from the Rs 120-crore fraud,” joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said.
The WBIDFC detected the fraud last week when officials found that certificates provided for two UCO Bank fixed deposits in which the agency had invested — Rs 59 crore and Rs 61 crore — were fake. Police said the certificates bore Lakra’s signature.
UCO Bank officials said the charges were fabricated because WBIDFC did not have any current account or term deposit account with the Circus Avenue branch of the bank. “The bank never issued any FD certificates to WBIDFC,” said C.K. Mukherjee, general manager (circle head), Calcutta, on Monday.
“The certificates that WBIDFC claimed to have been issued by the bank are forged. We had tallied the account number against which the FDs were issued and found out that the account belonged to Pradip Chongdar,” Mukherjee added.
The BT Road address of Chongdar turned out to be fictitious, police sources said.
Police officers investigating the account where the money was transferred found that the amount was siphoned off to 25 beneficiaries — mostly private companies and two individuals — holding accounts in seven banks.
“Of these accounts, one belonged to the West Bengal state marketing board,” S.C. Sharma, deputy general manager of UCO Bank, said.
The marketing board had lodged a complaint in January this year alleging a similar fraud after they invested Rs 17 crore in a fixed deposit.