The CBI has charge-sheeted a bank officer and his accomplice whose rapacious appetite for online gaming lured them to allegedly embezzle more than Rs 55 crore from various accounts, a major chunk of which was funnelled to virtual betting tables, officials said on Monday.
In what transpired to be a tale of avarice and subterfuge, the CBI alleged that accused officer Bedanshu Shekhar Mishra and his accomplice Shailesh Kumar Jaiswal committed forgery in Punjab & Sind Bank, where Mishra was employed, to channel funds from various bank accounts into various betting games online, they said.
Mishra was posted at the North Campus branch of Punjab & Sind Bank at Khalsa College of Delhi University since June 28, 2021. In a statement during bank enquiry, Mishra admitted to having used banking IDs of colleagues to make illegal transfers for online gaming purpose, the officials said.
In the CBI's scrutiny, Mishra was found to have "illegally and without any authority" encashed 32 fix deposits belonging to Khalsa College, maintained at the bank, amounting to Rs 48.76 crore, while also siphoning Rs 6.74 crore from various Mudra Loan accounts, the officials said.
"During the investigation aforesaid original FDRs are said to have been seized from the Principal of Khalsa College, Jaswinder Singh, out of which 12 FDRs were found to be issued in the name of the Principal, SGTB Khalsa College and rest in the name of student fund, SGTB Khalsa College," the CBI has alleged.
The agency also found that Mishra used the official IDs allotted to the officer of Khalsa College Branch for transferring the funds into 29 different bank accounts.
"It is revealed that no supporting vouchers regarding the aforesaid transfer were available in the record of the bank which confirms that all transactions were executed dishonestly and with mala fide intentions," the agency alleged.
The bank noticed irregularities, forgery, siphoning and misappropriation of funds in various accounts such as RTGS, Inward Parking Account amongst Deposits Customers, primarily of Khalsa College.
"It is further alleged that...Mishra along with unknown person has carried out these unauthorised forgery and fraudulent transactions by using system ID's of other staff members without their authorities," the CBI alleged.
Investigations showed that Mishra has a penchant for online games such as Monopoly and CrazyTimes offered on the web site "Goa247.Live," registered in Curacao in the Caribbean and managed in India by individuals based in Dubai.
Between May 12 and September 14 in 2022, Mishra regularly played online games and transferred the liquidated amount of the said FDR, to the tune of Rs 10.81 crore, in the four accounts provided by the gaming website, they said.
While tracking the website, the central probe agency discovered that Dubai-based individuals Rajat Muralidhar, Nishanth, Rahul Kumar, A Rajath, and Nishanth were managing it in India, they said.
"The aforesaid persons, namely Rahul Kumar and A Rajath, allegedly lured individual current account holders to offer their bank accounts in lieu of commission. These personal bank accounts were used to accept deposits from the customers of the gaming website," the agency charge sheet alleged.
The investigation into the scam revealed that Mishra sanctioned and opened 48 Mudra loan accounts during the period from June 2021 to November 2022, they said.
Mishra's alleged accomplice Jaiswal managed eight of these accounts through his relatives and employees.
The proceeds of the loan amount were funnelled into the gaming business site GameKing11, and the rest of the amount was allegedly utilised for illegal purposes other than those for which the loans were sanctioned.
Voice and text chats on WhatsApp showed that Mishra was in regular contact with accused Jaiswal. The contents of these conversations revealed that Jaiswal had asked Mishra to transfer the amount from the Mudra loan accounts to various current accounts.
It was discovered that Mishra carried out transactions in Mudra loan accounts on the direction of Jaiswal without any authority from the actual account holders.
Fraudulent transactions to the tune of Rs 6.74 crore in seven bank accounts were made on the directions of Jaiswal, indicating that Mishra was acting under Jaiswal's influence, and both played an active role in the conspiracy to illegally transfer public money using fake Mudra accounts and identities, they said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)