Police have busted a racket that engaged in siphoning off money from bank accounts of farmers and tea garden residents in Alipurduar district on the pretext of helping them withdraw cash from banks.
Three persons, including a fourthgrade employee of a nationalised bank, were arrested.
Sources said Rabina Nayak, a worker of Atiabari tea estate in Kalchini block, had recently filed a complaint with the police. She alleged that Narayan Chik Baraik, who is from Rajabhat tea estate and is in possession of her ATM card, had withdrawn around Rs 49,000 from her account.
The police detained Narayan who during interrogation revealed the names of two of his associates. Manabendra Mandal, a bank employee in Alipurduar and Dulal Mahanta are the two. Both are residents of different villages under Samuktala police station in the district. The police searched their houses and seized Rs 20 lakh in cash, several ATM cards, cheque books and pass books.
A senior police officer said the trio’s modus operandi was to get hold of ATM cards and cheque books from gullible farmers and tea garden residents while assuring them that they would help in withdrawing money from banks.
The cop said many farmers and tea garden workers were still unaccustomed to ATMs transactions and were hesitant in visiting banks to withdraw money with cheques.
On Tuesday, all the three were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court here and remanded in police custody for seven days.