Four men held for siphoning off Rs 6L from Ram Mandir Trust's bank account

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Ayodhya (UP), Dec 29 (PTI) Four people were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly siphoning off Rs 6 lakh from the Ram Mandir Trust's bank account in September, police said.

The amount was transferred to Punjab National Bank in Maharasthra from State Bank of India here using two cloned cheques worth Rs 2.5 lakh and 3.5 lakh with forged signatures of the trustees, Ayodhya DIG Deepak Kumar said.

This scam was busted after a third cloned cheque of Rs 9.86 lakh was intercepted at an SBI clearing house in Lucknow. This cheque was presented in Bank of Baroda.

A senior bank official contacted Trust secretary Champat Rai to verify whether he had signed on the high-value cheque. The transaction was stopped in the nick of time when Rai confirmed he did not approve of any withdrawals and the account was seized.

An FIR was lodged at the Ayodhya Kotwali in this case on September 10.

The Ayodhya police on Tuesday arrested four accused, the residents of Bombay and Thane, however, the mastermind behind the fraud is still absconding.

Those who were arrested on Tuesday have been identified as Prashant Mahaval Shetty (40), a resident of Bombay, Vimal Lalla (40), Shankar Sitaram Gopale (54) and Sanjay Tejraj (35), all from Thane district of Maharashtra, the police said.

The police officer said they are still probing the case and the involvement of bank employees in this fraud cannot be ruled out. PTI CORR DPB