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IDBI Bank manager held in Darjeeling on charges of fraud

Darjeeling: Pritam Sarkar, manager of IDBI Bank, Darjeeling, was arrested on charges of misappropriation of public money and fraud. He was produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court on Friday and remanded to three days of police custody.

Sarkar was arrested from the bank's branch located at SM Das Road, Darjeeling on Thursday. An FIR had been lodged against him and two others by the general manager and senior regional head of the bank.

Basab Ray, the senior regional head, stated that during periodical verification of loan accounts, certain irregularities were observed in the Darjeeling Branch. Following scrutiny of loan records from May 2019 to June 2019 on sample basis, it was observed that several loans were sanctioned to different borrowers without following the process of the bank.

The sanctioned amounts were not deposited in the loan accounts and instead were deposited in the accounts of persons who had no connection with the loan accounts.

All the above accounts had been sanctioned by Sarkar and were processed by one Mohit Raj, then the services and operations manager (presently posted at IDBI Bank, Gangtok, Sikkim) and one Nilu Lohar, assistant manager, IDBI, Darjeeling.

"Hence all the three officers in connivance have committed the fraud against the bank and cheated the public and the bank," stated the FIR.

Sarkar had even sanctioned two loans in favour of his mother amounting to Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000, which is not permissible as per the bank norms.

The FIR apprehends that he must have committed similar frauds earlier in the branch "which is required to be investigated by a custodial probe," stated the FIR.

Such misappropriation was reported for 60 loan accounts for the said period, amounting to more than Rs 70 lakh.

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