The Amboli police have registered an FIR against two officials of Bharat Co-operative Bank following accusations made by current account holder Ajay Prusty. Prusty claims that bank officials transferred approximately Rs 76 lakh from his account to multiple other account holders without his knowledge. However, the accused officials and higher bank authorities deny the charges, asserting that Prusty’s account had become a non-performing asset (NPA) and the case was filed with malicious intent to impede the bank’s recovery actions.
The FIR has been filed against Naveen Karkera, the former bank manager of the Andheri West branch, and Chandrakant Kotian, the former assistant branch manager, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to cheating, criminal breach of trust by a banker, and criminal acts committed by multiple persons in furtherance of a common intention.
Prusty, the director of Frutech Agro Industries Pvt Ltd and proprietor of M/s Khushi Retail, alleges that the funds were diverted or transferred from his account to nearly 14 different accounts between 2017 and 2019, without his knowledge. Upon discovering the transactions, he approached the bank authorities for an explanation but was initially assured that they would be reversed. However, the bank later refused to take responsibility, leading Prusty to escalate the matter to higher authorities and ultimately lodge a police complaint.
Prusty believes that his case might be just the tip of the iceberg, suggesting a larger money-laundering scam involving the bank. He believes a detailed investigation is necessary to determine whether the alleged transactions were part of a planned money-laundering exercise orchestrated by the bank’s senior authorities or a branch-level error.
Prusty’s loan account with the bank has been marked as an NPA due to non-payment of dues, which he attributes to the diverted funds. Bank officials counter Prusty’s claims, asserting that the bank and its officials are not at fault. They maintain that the allegations are false and motivated by the complainant’s outstanding loan account.
While cooperating with the investigating agency, the accused officials assert that they possess documents to refute the allegations and prove the bank’s innocence. A senior bank official, speaking anonymously, questions the timing of the complaint and suggests that false allegations have been made to evade recovery actions.
The bank maintains that it has evidence, including issued cheques, to support its position. Internally, the bank is examining the complaints to identify any potential issues within the system, but maintains that there is no merit to the case and that the allegations were made with malicious intent.
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