Police say more bank staff involved in fake currency scam (Lead)

August 12th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 12 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday took State Bank of India (SBI) Domariyaganj branch cashier Sudhakar Tripathi on three days of police remand even as interrogation of the accused revealed the involvement of one more bank employee in the fake currency racket. The co-accused in the racket, Abid Sheikh, has also been taken on two days’ remand.

Tripathi was arrested July 29 and during interrogation confessed to exchanging fake currency notes with a nominal value of Rs.15 million with original ones from the bank’s currency chest.

“We will grill him to extract more information and some more revelations are expected,” Superintendent of Police (SIT) A.K. Mishra told IANS.

The officials said Tuesday that the preliminary investigations by the SIT have revealed the involvement of one more bank employee at Domariyaganj branch in the scam.

The accountant of the bank has now come under the scanner.

“The strong room (currency chest) has two keys and it can only be opened by using both keys simultaneously. It would have been impossible for Tripathi to open the room with a single key,” said a member of the investigating team, preferring anonymity.

The scam came to light when the Special Task Force (STF) of the state police arrested four people with fake currency notes in the Domariyaganj town of Sidharthnagar district.

“Sustained interrogation of Abid Sheikh alias Pundit, who was among those arrested, gave us leads to Tripathi, from whose residence we recovered RS.700,000 in cash,” said Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal.

During the interrogation by the SIT in Siddharthnagar Sunday, Tripathi is stated to have provided more information about the scam.

“According to him, the available balance of the chest was showing a shortfall due to some technical reason and Triptahi claimed he also informed senior bank officials about the same,” said a police source.

However, after getting no response, he said he was forced to arrange fake notes from Abid and place them in the currency chest in a bid to save himself, the source added.

“Tripathi claimed that in exchange of Rs.35 (original), Abid used to supply him Rs.65 (fake).” the source added.

Meanwhile, the state government Tuesday recommended yet another fake currency case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“The case dates back to June 10 this year when two people were arrested in Bijnore district and fake currency work Rs.1 lakh (Rs.100,000) was recovered from them. We have written to the CBI recommending the case to them,” Principal Secretary (Home) Mahesh Gupta said.

The Domariyaganj case was also recommended to the CBI last week.

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