According to the official, the fraud, which was detected Tuesday evening, was being carried on with the active connivance of the branch officials. Most of the fake cheques were credited into the account of an influential petrol pump owner and one of his associates, who have reportedly fled the country.
"The suspended officials include an assistant general manager, two chief managers and some senior managers, who were suspected to be directly involved in pilfering the bank by crediting fake cheques into select accounts," he said.
The Kanpur branch head and deputy general manager have been divested of the charge with immediate effect, the official added.
The scam was detected by SBI's audit team in Hyderabad from which a special team had been sent here to this city, 80 km from state capital Lucknow.
A vigilance team from the Lucknow-based state head office was also sent to Kanpur.
While describing the case as the "biggest fraud in the Lucknow-Kanpur region in recent decades", the bank official did not rule out the possibility of "more heads rolling" over the next few days.
Significantly, barely a few months back, a fake note racket involving SBI officials was discovered in a small SBI branch in Domariyaganj town on the India-Nepal border, about 200 km from Lucknow.
Kanpur: A fake cheques scam estimated to the tune of Rs 52 crore has been unearthed in the State Bank of India's (SBI) main branch here. Seven bank officers have been suspended, a SBI official said Wednesday.
First Published: Wednesday, August 05, 2009, 14:33