CBI arrests Chennai Port Trust official in Rs 45.40 cr deposit fraud

Chennai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an Assistant Superintendent of Chennai Port Trust (CPT) in an on-going investigation of a case related to Rs 45.40 crore bank fraud in which fixed deposits of (CPT were fore-closed/pre-closed fraudulently.

The arrested accused was produced before the Special Judge, CBI Cases, Chennai and remanded in judicial custody, CBI sources said.

CBI had registered a case on 31 July, 2020 on a complaint from Indian Bank, against two private persons; Bank’s Koyambedu Branch Manager, and other unknown public servants and private persons on the allegations of committing fraud, forgery, impersonation with the intention to cheat the bank.

The CBI said losses to the tune of Rs. 45,40,65,000/- (RS 45.40 crore) was caused to the bank by way of foreclosing/pre-closing of several term deposits (fixed deposits) created in the name of CPT and also transferring /withdrawing the said amount through various accounts etc.

It was further alleged that the accused in conspiracy with each other canvassed the bank and CPT for opening of term deposits in the bank’s Koyembedu Branch and accordingly, 45 Term deposits (FD) were created during the period between March 2020 and May 2020.

One of the accused allegedly impersonated himself as Deputy Director (Finance) of Chennai Port Trust and opened fake current account in the name of CPT at Koyambedu Branch.

After the receipt of investment from the CPT on every occasions, the bank created term deposit receipts (Bond) against the said investment and the said bond was received by the accused from the bank directly. Instead of delivering the original bond to CPT, the accused made duplicate bonds and submitted the forged bonds to CPT.

It was also alleged that having original bonds in possession, the accused allegedly presented the same before Indian Bank, Koyambedu Branch and pre-closed the Term Deposits one after another within few days of creation of term deposits.

The money received from the pre-closure of Term deposits was allegedly credited into the fake current account created in the name of CPT by the accused and subsequently transferred to around 34 different accounts.

This money was withdrawn by the 27 account holders and handed over to the accused persons.

CPT was continuously investing in term deposits and the same was allegedly pre-closed by the accused one after another, after the bonds were created by the Bank.

In that process a total of Rs. 100.57 crore (approx.) was transferred from CPT in 5 investments against which 45 Term Deposits of different amounts were created. Out of the total amount invested, Rs. 55.19 crore could be freezed after the detection of the fraud and remaining Rs. 45,40,65,000/- were swindled by the accused.

Searches were earlier conducted at 40 locations including at Chennai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Nagercoil which led to recovery of several incriminating documents and material objects.

In this case, 17 persons including two foreign nationals have been arrested and they are in judicial custody. Three chargesheets have also been filed against 23 accused. The investigation is continuing.