Fraudsters withdraw Rs 50 lakh IAF funds from bank
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 00:24
New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) has fallen victim to a major swindle when nearly Rs 50 lakh was fraudulently withdrawn in several transactions from its account in a public sector bank.

The amount was released by the bank to the fraudsters who had presented counterfeit cheques with forged signatures at the bank branches's in different parts of the country in the first half of June and withdrew from the IAF's public fund an amount in all totalling Rs 48,41,910, the IAF said here today.

The fraudsters, who posed as retired IAF men, had used fake discharge book and certificate of service to open bank accounts to which the IAF money was transferred.

The fraud was detected by officials of the Air Force Central Accounts Office, who also lodged a police complaint.

Besides lodging an FIR with the police, the IAF also ordered a probe into the case. It also asked all its establishments to validate its public and non-public accounts, a press release issued by the IAF said.

"The withdrawals were done using counterfeit cheques with forged signatures that were cleared by the bank," the IAF said, noting that between June 4 and 10, a total of 15 cheques were dropped at drop boxes of a nationalised bank at different locations nationwide and the bank officials released the amount without verifying the genuineness of the cheques or the signatories.

The amount was transferred to other bank accounts in the name of non-existent individuals across the country and the fraudsters withdrew Rs 14 lakh from the fictitious accounts through debit cards from ATMs, the IAF said quoting sources in the banks that were cheated.

"The exact amount lost is yet to be ascertained," it added.

Fortunately, the bank agreed to reverse the entire transaction to the IAF accounts, "as it was their responsibility to verify the genuineness of the cheques and their signatories," the IAF said.

"The cheques were dropped at drop boxes at various places and the banking system failed to detect the fraudulent cheques with fake signatures," it added.

The fraudulent cheques originated from various parts of the country based on fictitious bank accounts opened, presumably by production of fake documents like discharge book, certificate of service among other such documents.

"The IAF is assisting the bank in their enquiry and has submitted the complete schedule of original cheques to facilitate both the detection of the fake cheques as well as the clearance of the genuine cheques," the IAF added.


First Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 00:24

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