News Details|OdishaRay

Odisha Crime Branch busts banking fraud racket

Bhubaneswar(31/03/2024): The Cyber Crime Unit of Crime Branch, Odisha has busted a racket that was involved in forgery and misappropriation of deposited money to the tune of more than Rs.1.04 crores from the ICICI Bank, Dhenkanal Branch during the year 2021-22. The Regional Head, ICICI Bank Financial Crime Prevention Group had complained to Crime Branch that several customers of ICICI Bank Dhenkanal Branch have raised concern regarding unauthorized transactions from their ICICI Bank accounts.
Upon such allegations, the bank had got an internal enquiry done and it was ascertained that fraudulent transactions were carried out in the form of unauthorized overdraft against fixed deposits.
Such over drafts were availed through i-Mobile application, fake investments in mutual funds, pre-Closure of FD and misappropriation of Premium amount related to ICICI prudential policy.
Swagatika Swain, an Ex-Employee of the bank had carried out the alleged disputed transactions for personal gain, violating the established rules and procedures.
All the alleged transactions were done from 01/02/2021 to 30/06/2022. Basing on the report the above referred case was registered at CID CB Cyber Police Station and was investigated by a team of officers led by Deputy SP Rajat Ray, Inspector Anila Anand and others. During course of investigation, it was revealed that the accused Swagatika Swain, who was then working in ICICI Bank Dhenkanal Branch as Relationship Manager during the period was entrusted to provide door step service to the elite customers of the branch.
She along with her husband Manoj Kumar Sahoo targeted mostly the senior citizens who were less aware about use of electronic gadgets and online banking and in the veil of maintaining good relationship with such customers, the couple used to access their personal details and gradually started misusing the trust.
As a banker Swagatika had access to the banking system.
She could even change the registered phone numbers of targeted accounts violating the rules, without the knowledge of the Account Holder and keeping them in dark about the fraudulent transactions.
The Deputy Branch Manager and Manager of the said branch also seems to have connived through their silent approval of such acts.
So far 11 of such defrauded account holders have been identified to whom the Bank has suo-moto reimbursed lost money amounting to the tune of Rs.87,54,047.
Many more such complaints can crop up in the coming days.
The ill-gotten money was being invested by Swagatika Swain and Manoj Kumar Sahoo with a money lender.
During the investigation the team has arrested 3 persons viz:(1) Swagatika Swain (28), wife of Manoj Kumar Sahoo,(2) Manoj Kumar Sahoo(29),(3) Prasant Kumar Sahoo, Deputy Bank Manager, ICICI Bank and they are being produced before the court of SDJM Bhubaneswar today. The investigation so far reveals about registration of three similar cases at Town Police Station, Dhenkanal against Swagatika Swain and her associates.
Further complicity in other offences is under investigation.