CBI starts investigation into Rs.21 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started investigation into the Rs.21 crore banking fraud in which a former Punjab National Bank (PNB) employee, M.P. Rijil, allegedly swindled Rs.21 crore from multiple bank accounts, including the eight accounts maintained by the Kozhikode Corporation.

The case is being investigated by the Kochi unit of the CBI in compliance with an earlier order issued by the Kerala High Court. The case, which was initially investigated by the Kozhikode Town police, was handed over to the Crime Branch on the instructions of the District Police Chief (Kozhikode City).

As the swindled amount was above Rs.3 crore, it was also referred to the CBI in accordance with the instructions of the Reserve Bank of India.

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The multi-crore fund embezzlement came to notice in November 2022. It was found that the Corporation lost a total of Rs.12.68 crore. The accused was arrested and remanded in judicial custody on December 14, 2022.

At the time of exposing the fraud, Rijil was working at the PNB’s Eranhipalam branch. The fraud reportedly took place when he was working as a senior manager with the PNB’s Link Road branch. It was a complaint from the Corporation that helped expose the major scam. The bank authorities later refunded the lost amount to the Corporation following legal measures.

What is the fraud?

Over Rs 12 crore was swindled from several accounts of the Kozhikode Corporation in Punjab National Bank. The fraud came to light when the Corporation found huge sums of money missing from its various accounts in the PNB branch.

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An FIR was immediately lodged and in view of the amount involved, of Rs 12.68 crore, the probe was transferred to the Crime Branch, the officer said.
Initially, the Corporation believed that the swindled amount was over Rs 15 crore, but subsequently, its audits revealed that Rs 12.68 crore was missing from its accounts in the bank.

It was later found that Punjab National Bank Link Road branch manager MP Rijil had made money transactions, including for online rummy, from his Axis Bank account.

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