Bank employee who swindled over Rs 8 lakh held in Kerala

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Pathanamthitta (Ker), May 17 (PTI) Police on Monday arrested a bank employee who allegedly swindled over Rs 8 crore from a branch of the Canara Bank in Pathanamthitta town.

Vijeesh Varghese, 36, who had been working as clerk at the bank's Pathanamthitta branch-2, was taken into custody from Bengaluru on Sunday by a police team with the assistance of the cyber cell.

He was brought to Pathanamthitta today.

His arrest has been recorded after interrogation, police said.

Varghese was arrested three months after the fraud was detected.

He allegedly swindled Rs 8.13 crore, police said.

He joined Syndicate bank after retiring as a petty officer in the Indian Navy in 2017.

Following the merger of the Syndicate bank with the Canara Bank in 2019, he was posted at the Canara Bank's Pathanamthitta-2 branch.

According to police, he had been handling fixed deposits in the branch.After allegedly processing certain fixed deposits using his bank ID, he used to authorise the same with the user ID of the senior officer without his knowledge to commit the financial fraud.

It was evident from the CCTV visuals, police said.

When a customer visits the bank to claim the closed fixed deposit, Varghese, who is fluent in various languages, used to transfer the amount from the bank's parking account to the customer's account without the knowledge of the senior officers, police said.

He also allegedly swindled money by closing the unclaimed saving accounts, they said.

Police said the investigation proved that he fraudulently transferred accidental insurance claims of the customers to the accounts of his wife and father-in-law.

His fraudulent activities came to light on February 11 this year when a bank staff found his wife's fixed deposit closed without their knowledge, police said.

When he was confronted by senior bank officials, he admitted the crime and assured them that the money will be returned. However, he went missing along with his family the same day.

The phones of Varghese and his wife were switched off since then, police said.PTI TGB BN BALA BN BALA

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