Punjab National Bank hands over Rs.21 crore fraud case to CBI

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the embezzlement case at the Kozhikode Link Road branch of Punjab National Bank (PNB) after five months since the fraud was discovered. The case involves the theft of at least ₹21 crore from different accounts in the bank, including 14 accounts belonging to the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation. The CBI is now investigating the matter as per the regulations that require financial fraud cases involving more than ₹3 crore to be handled by the central agency.

The fraud came to light during a bank audit in November 2022 when the Kozhikode Corporation noticed some irregularities in its accounts. It was discovered that M.P. Rijil, a former senior manager at the Link Road branch, had transferred funds from less active accounts in the bank to accounts held by his relative. Rijil was arrested by the police two weeks later and is currently out on bail.

Initially, the investigation was carried out by the Kozhikode Town Police based on a complaint filed by the Kozhikode Corporation. Later, the case was transferred to the District Crime Branch and then to the State Crime Branch’s financial fraud section. The investigation is still ongoing, and no chargesheet has been submitted yet.

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The Kozhikode Corporation lost ₹12.68 crore from the 14 accounts, but PNB later returned the amount, although the interest is still pending. As a result of the incident, the Corporation decided to close all its accounts with the bank, and the value of PNB stocks declined.

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