Saturday, November 28, 2009

State Bank of Sikkim fraud Swindlers Handed Over to West Bengal Police

Gangtok, Nov. 28: Two men, arrested for trying to swindle a nationalised bank out of crores of rupees, were brought from Sikkim to Birpara today and remanded in 10 days’ police custody by the additional chief judicial magistrate.

Amit Das of Barasat in North 24-Parganas and Subrata Banerjee of Cossipore, Calcutta, had been arrested by Sikkim police in Gangtok while trying to pull off a scam in another bank there.

In a complaint filed with Birpara police on October 28, the manager of the Central Bank of India’s Birpara branch, Pradeep Sarkar, said Das had opened an account in his branch. “On October 16, Sarkar received a phone call from his counterpart in the Burrabazar branch in Calcutta that Das had produced a letter of credit issued by the Birpara branch and wanted to withdraw Rs 48.7 lakh. He, however, fled the scene when the accounts were being verified,” said the assistant public prosecutor, Samir Majumdar.

“On November 21, Sarkar received another call from the Central Bank India’s branch in Vadodara saying Das had produced another letter of credit issued by his branch and wanted to withdraw Rs 1.27 crore. The branch was told not to make any payment, but the duo disappeared,” said the public prosecutor.

Sources in the Birpara police station said police intelligence had come to know about the arrests and asked the Sikkim police to hand them over.

A letter of credit is issued by a bank to its customer against his/her assets, a police officer explained. “Scamsters use these banking instruments to withdraw large sums of money. However, it is most likely that the letter of credit is fake,” added the officer.

Pradeep Dutta, the subdivisional police officer of Alipurduar, said more about the duo would be revealed after interrogation.

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