A lady deputy manager of a branch of the IndusInd Bank in the Assam capital, who had disappeared after allegedly siphoning off about Rs 3.70 crore from the accounts of at least four customers, was arrested in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh by the Guwahati Police on Sunday. “While we received so far four different FIRs from as many customers of the said bank branch, Olivia Dutta Choudhury, a deputy manager of the branch disappeared on July 27, to be finally tracked down and arrested in Moradabad in UP on Sunday. She is being produced before a judge in Noida on Monday for transit remand in order to bring her to Guwahati,” Hiren Chandra Nath.
Nath said while a search was launched after she disappeared, the woman was tracked down to a resort in Nainital on Sunday. “But, by the time a team of police officers proceeded for Nainital, she had left the place. We however managed to track her and caught her in Moradabad while she was heading for another destination to evade arrest,” the Police Commissioner said. She was travelling in a hired vehicle with her seven-month old daughter, her mother and a maid, he said.
The woman, who had allegedly siphoned off Rs 63 lakh from the account of a doctor called Biraj Jyoti Goswami, at least two other customers complained of withdrawal of Rs 1 crore and Rs 28 lakh respectively. “We have so far received four FIRs showing a total sum of Rs 3.70 crore being siphoned off by the woman,” Nath said.
The Police Commissioner said the woman was involved in illegal and unauthorised withdrawal and transfer of money from the accounts of various customers since 2014, initially to meet targets of investments through various kinds of deposits, schemes and insurances in the bank. “Gradually she probably found it easy to withdraw cash right away through some fraudulent accounts and also at least two accounts, one in her husband’s name, the other in the name of her minor daughter,” Nath said. Her husband Shankar Sinha, who was till recently with the Gangtok branch of the same bank, was already arrested last week.
The woman had left Guwahati for Delhi on July 27 with Rs 43 lakh in cash with her, of which she left behind one bag containing Rs 10 lakh for fear of being detected and caught in the Guwahati railway station baggage X-ray machine, the Police Commissioner said. “When we arrested her, she had Rs 27 lakh in cash with her. She claimed she had spent the remaining amount,” he said.
The Police Commissioner said this incident could just be the tip of the iceberg of bank frauds suspected to be going on in Guwahati. “We are expecting more bank customers to come up with such complaints. While on one hand it exposes the poor check-and-balance mechanism in private banks, it looks like just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.