The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police has arrested six persons, including four former employees of HDFC Bank, for allegedly committing a fixed deposit (FD) scam by cheating the director of a private company of Rs. 5 crore. Among those arrested earlier this week is Vimal Barot, vice-president of Mumbai-based Showman group and investigators are probing the role of a manager of a private bank in Mumbai in the crime. There is a possibility that she may be arrested. “The case was registered in 2014 and we have made the arrests after detailed investigation”, said Taj Hassan, Special Commissioner of Police (EOW). Mr. Barot had been arrested by the CBI for cheating the Malabar Hill branch of Dena Bank as well as seven private organizations to the level of Rs 220 crore in Mumbai. The four former employees of HDFC bank arrested in the case were identified as Rishabh Pathak (35), Sulav Rastogi (32), Barun Kumar (32) and Manoj Upreti (32). Mr. Hassan also added, “The accused were running their racket from 2009 to 2015 and the amount could get bigger, with police expecting more customers to come forward and register complaints.”
How they did it
The police said that the accused would contact a customer of HDFC bank after assessing his or her bank balance and would convince them to open a fixed deposit (FD) account in Punjab National Bank (PNB) by giving the false promise that they would get 9.25% interest rate on their deposits which is 1.25% more than the advertised rate for the bank. After getting the payment cheque and other related documents, they would assure the customer that the papers would be handed over to the relevant department. But then they would open an FD account in their name and give fake receipts. They would then transfer the overdraft amount to their accounts and start leverage investment on gold bond scheme.
One of the customers of HDFC bank noticed that he did not have any amount to his name in PNB and registered a case with the police in July 28, 2014. According to the complainant, Barun Kumar, an employee of HDFC Bank, approached him and said he and his colleagues would be able to facilitate an FD account in Punjab National Bank at 9.25%, a higher rate of interest than advertised. The accused took a cheque for Rs. 5 crore from the complainant. Later, the complainant came to know that Mr. Kumar had opened a fake account and he was getting a lower rate of return than promised. This is what led him to lodge a complaint with the police.
Customers of any bank should be aware of fraudsters and the kind of tricks they use to rob the depositors of their money. Anyone making a big deposit in banks should especially be warned of such fraudsters because such people usually target customers with big bank balances. The government of India should give life imprisonment for such crimes to deter fraudsters from cheating rich bank customers. The banks should also monitor their activities closely and verify the sources of money of their depositors to prevent such crimes. Read about Startup Scams.