Former PNB manager arrested in loan fraud worth crores in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch has arrested Chartered Accountant and former manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) Neeraj Kumar from Delhi in connection with the bank’s loan fraud amounting to Rs 6.18 crore.

Being a former manager at PNB Saheed Nagar branch, Neeraj was allegedly exercising his clout to sit at PNB Bapuji Nagar Branch, in connivance with other officials of bank and involved in sanctioning loans, often by devious means i.e. by impersonating dead persons as guarantors or by mortgaging property of others without their knowledge and using forged documents.

The arrest was made on the basis of a case registered with the EOW in September, 2020 under Sections 420, 406, 419, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC. Following his arrest, the accused was produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dwarka, New Delhi on July 23 and later brought on transit remand to Bhubaneswar. He will be produced before the Bhubaneswar SDJM Court.

The case was registered on the written complaint of Paresh Kumar Das, PNB Bhubaneswar Circle Head. He had accused Kali Prasad Mishra, Proprietor of M/s KP Solutions, availed Cash Credit (CC) loan for working capital to the tune of Rs 250 lakh on October 24, 2017 from PNB Bapuji Nagar Branch, Bhubaneswar by using forged documents and mortgaging landed property of other people as collateral security without  knowledge of the genuine owners.

During investigation, it was revealed that Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Bindapur in New Delhi, was working as PNB Manager (Credit) at Saheed Nagar branch between 2013 and 2016 while another accused Birendra Kumar Pattanaik worked as Chief Manager in the same branch. Even after resigning from the bank in 2016, Neeraj used to sit at PNB Bapuji Nagar branch posing as an official of  the bank, where Birendra was the Chief Manager.

In connivance with Birendra and other officials, Neeraj managed to get free access to PNB Bapuji Nagar branch. He along with another accused Prakash Kumar Behera (now in judicial custody) and other officials had sanctioned loans against forged documents, causing huge loss worth crores of rupees to the bank and wrongful gain to themselves.

“It came to light that Senior Manager Srikant Prusty, who verifies documents loanee and guarantors, had neither visited residence of the guarantors located at Nandi Sahi in Cuttack nor interacted with them prior to the sanction of loans. It was also found that lakhs of rupees were transferred from bank accounts of KP Solutions (proprietor-Kali Prasad Mishra) to the bank accounts of Neeraj Kumar & Associates (proprietor- Neeraj Kumar and others),” said EOW in a release.

Earlier, five accused were arrested in this connection.

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