Nashik: After cleaner, manager and cashier held in Rs 2.5 crore fraud

Now, the total number of arrests has risen to three as a cleaner, Bhagwan Aher, was the first to be apprehended after the fraud came to light on July 14.

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 08:33 AM IST
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The court also slapped a fine of over Rs 2.19 crore on B Dinesh, the then head cashier of the bank. /Representative image |

In the latest development in the Maharashtra Bank scam, the branch manager and cashier were arrested on Sunday in Nashik. Now, the total number of arrests has risen to three as a cleaner, Bhagwan Aher, was the first to be apprehended after the fraud came to light on July 14.

Both the accused were identified as manager Amit Sharma and cashier Appa Sonawane, who along with Aher, have allegedly defrauded the customers of Deola’s Bhaur branch to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore. Investigations conducted so far indicate that Aher was simply the front man for the racket and that the money was being distributed among the trio.

According to the sources from Nashik rural police, the role of Sharma and Sonawane came to fore when they were questioned about how Aher was able to continue the scam for three to four years without anyone noticing.

Simultaneously, the police also examined the bank's records, which revealed several indications of the duo's involvement.

“We found that as many as Rs 20 lakh were withdrawn from customers' accounts on a daily basis for several days in a week without any red flags being thrown up in the system, which made us suspicious. After sustained questioning, it was established that both Sharma and Sonawane were involved in the racket, which extended to methods other than just taking money that customers had come to deposit,” said superintendent of police Sachin Patil.

Describing the modus operandi of cheating the customers, the police said that Sharma and Sonawane would contact account holders, having large amounts in their savings accounts, and tell them that they were opening fixed deposits in their names for higher returns. However, the money would be siphoned off and the customers were even issued receipts on the bank's stationery to keep the con alive.

“We have information about the accused owning some land in various locations and we will be evaluating this property. So, that we can attach their assets and reimburse the customers who have been cheated. More and more customers are still approaching us and their statements are being recorded,” said Patil.

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