Mangaluru: Rs 4.14 crore swindled from SBI ATMs - Here's what happened


Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, Jul 16: Taking advantage of loopholes in the system relating to management of ATMs, employees of an agency hired to replenish cash into ATMs of State Bank of India have allegedly swindled a whopping Rs 4.14 crore belonging to this bank.

In the past, the banks used to depute their own employees to remit cash into ATMs functioning under respective branches, but this work has since been entrusted to agencies by banks having large number of ATM network, as it is cost effective.

The agencies are hired by banks after ensuring that they they conform to strict norms prescribed by them as huge amount of cash is entrusted to the agency on a daily basis. Such agencies normally have a manager and two custodians who know the passwords of ATMs. In addition, drivers and gunmen are hired for this job. Normal practice in vogue among these agencies is to compare physical cash existing in ATMs with their account books and conduct audit if there is any shortfall or excess.

In spite of these checks, some employees of an agency named Castech, which was hired to remit cash to ATMs of State Bank of India, have succeeded in pocketing Rs 4,13,57,500. The agency, it is said, came to know about the fraud about a month ago, only after the bank hired another agency in its place, and asked Castech to conduct audit and hand over the work to the new agency.

Castech is a Mumbai-based agency. It bagged the work of managing ATMs of State Bank of India in Dakshina Kannada district in November 2012, and hired several local youngsters for the work. The bosses of the agency at Mumbai and Bengaluru had no inkling that their own staff were rigging a hole in the agency's pockets. After the bank asked the agency to hand over ATM management to the new agency after auditing and tallying physical cash, the agency asked Pradeep, working as area manager in the city, to tally the accounts and hand over ATMs to new agency.

Pradeep, who handed over accounts of 29 ATMs, dithered in the matter of giving accounts pertaining to remaining 19 ATMs. Growing suspicious, officials deputed by the agency from Mumbai and Bengaluru conducted investigation and found that there was a total shortfall of Rs 4,13,57,500 in these ATMs. The company found shortfall in all the remaining ATMs. Umashankar, regional manager of Castech, confirmed about this shortfall.

Area manager, Pradeep, says that he knew all along that irregularities were taking place and had planned to somehow replenish shortfall during audit. When the agencies began audit work, the staff used to bring cash from another ATM to show that the physical cash tallied with accounts. He has charged employees, Uday, Mahesh, Guruprasad and Sridhar, of usurping different amounts of money between five and 47 lac rupees. Sridhar, Guruprasad and Mahesh left their jobs, leaving Pradeep high and dry, claims Pradeep.

The agency initially asked all the employees to remit the money they had taken away, so that the matter could be closed without police complaint. As the employees did not commit to do so, the agency filed a complaint with the police. Since the complaint was filed about a month ago, all the culprits have disappeared, and in spite of efforts put by police personnel, have succeeded in remaining at large.

It is gathered that when Castech in-charge, Kunal, accompanied by area manager, Pradeep, visited Pandeshwar police station to file complaint, they were reportedly advised to hold negotiations before registering complaint. The other staff claim that one of the employees, Harish, belonging to a poor family from Bajal, had bought a flat costing Rs 65 lac, a house for Rs 30 lac, apart from a car and motor bike in the recent past. Still, there is no clarity about the individual amounts each of the agency staff had pocketed. As such, the agency has named all the 18 employees in its complaint as accused. 

City commissioner, Murugan, holds irresponsibility on the part of bank officials and negligence of the agency for this huge fraud. He says that it is difficult to reach to the depth of the issue and clearly say what had happened and how, unless all the employees, who have gone underground now, are caught. He also blames the agency for filing complaint after these employees absconded. Regional manager of SBI in the city, Venkat, when contacted over phone, said he is not aware of this mess.

Harish Poojary was drawing a salary of Rs 8,000 and his elder brother earns Rs 10,000. When his house was visited at Bajal, his mother, who was alone there, said that the family bought plot there by selling off a four cent land, and built house by raising loan of five lac rupees. She says that her son is in the city, and that he meets her now and then, and speaks to her over cell phone regularly. Apparently, the police have not tried to nab him on the basis of location of his cell phone. The police commissioner himself feels that the complaint was filed by the agency for claiming insurance amount, and therefore it appears his department has not attached the importance it deserves to this case.

Police commissioner, Murugan, says that the agencies entrusted with the work of remitting cash to ATMs get everything isnured. He wonders how the bank failed to monitor how much cash was drawn from their ATMs and how much has remained in each of them, as these can be monitored from their desks. It appears that the bank and the agency failed to keep check on how much money was put into the cash box of ATMs by agency employees each day. Using this loophole, staff of the agency have usurped money.

When contacted, the Pandeshwar police said that investigation into the case is on. "SBI has provided a list of 18 suspects, out of whom six have already obtained anticipatory bail from the court. As the fraud took place over a period of three years, we need to probe the case thoroughly and investigate in detail. There are also innocents among those named in the list, who were not employees and had no idea about the fraud. We are enquiring each and everyone," said a police official. However, no one has been arrested yet.

The entire case looks like a tragedy of errors. Several omissions and commissions have compounded the problem and given way for such a big fraud. The police, who are able to catch unknown thieves in several cases, have failed to lay their hands on the culprits in this case, although their photos, names, videos of individual accused, address proof, and all other documents are available. Perhaps it is time for all other banks to sit up, take notice of the magnitude of this fraud, and immediately check their ATM accounts and plug loopholes in the system if any without further delay.

 

  

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Comment on this article

  • sunil, mangalore

    Fri, Aug 07 2015

    dijiworld team u have to get information with other staff member

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • sunil, mangalore

    Fri, Aug 07 2015

    pradeep is a cheeter he oly the responsible. 15 years experiance in atm feeld and also he is B.E graduate his salary 13000 p.m how can he maintain and also he fraud staff salary.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Sbi staff, Delhi

    Fri, Jul 24 2015

    There's clear indication that the bank staff is involved in this fraud as the software clearly indicates credit/debit balances every day. After filling currency into atm statement generated automatically and send copies.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • pradeepkumar, mangalore

    Sat, Jul 18 2015

    first g dada vishya pandhu theriyonle bka bakidhakleg comment korle...think before u speak.

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Rems, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jul 18 2015

    Kelasa malpere beri bagguji. Agent na bele, commission bele inchane malthd dina deppuni. Avula success aijida kaas lakkavunu. Bank da kaas atta, povad. Malla ill kattere, posa gaadid tirgere kaas bodatha ? Aik inchina poora kelasa malthnda malla ijji. Kelasa yereg bodu ?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hussain, mangalore

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    God creation worshipped as God

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Dan, Mangalore

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    These bank will not even feel a pinch on such kind of losses. If we calculate the interest rate they charge on home loan, one has to pay nearly double of the principle amount, that to long term loan like 30 years. 4 years back Axis bank cheated me, They sold me a car loan at 14% fixed interest rate telling it was 11.5% fixed, the guys who was my friend. He asked me to sign the doc, which I did, he said he will fill in the details later. But when the booklet copy came, the interest was totally different. Till now I paying that loan Bank manager told he can't do anything. I know it's a error on my part, trust was an error. The same happen to me Friends dad with education loan 11lacs he has paid 15lacs and still paying. Without notice changing the interest rate, making unwanted deduction from our SB account. HDFC charges 16 rs quarterly for sms alerts, just imagine to give an example if one lac people have entitled for this service it will 16 lac in one shot, and HDFC is not bank to have only 1 lac accounts. ICICI and others Charge 27 rs if we swipe our debit card when there is insufficient balance. However What happen is a sad thing, after all it's peoples hard earned white money which got stolen.

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ashok Kotian, Mangalore / Mumbai

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    Is this the way a reputed public limited Bank works? We need to worry about money kept in this Bank. There is a very high possibility of the Bank employees involved in case.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • yogesh, mumbai

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    insiders hand by outsider staff - note that it is SBI not mangalore-based bank
    of intelligent district run by honest people

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    25 years is too long a period to wait for "Acche Din" ...

    DisAgree [23] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • tony d'souza, mangalore/usa

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    u waited for 60 years so why can't u wait for another 25 years.by the by whats ur age?

    DisAgree [7] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Jul 18 2015

    Tony, I am 57 and btw, where do you like in Mangalore ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • santhosh, Mangaluru

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    We can give another 250 years or even more for Fake Gandhys.. Let them loot us till there is nothing left and India can merge with Italy

    DisAgree [8] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Fri, Jul 17 2015

    Thanks to the Job at ATM,poor man got a house and flat and car by only selling 5cents of land!and loan of 5lac rupees.The officials did one big mistake by making public first about swindle in ATM.,then filed case.Naturally These who are involved in this doesn't want Troubles and disappear.They shold have first arrested the Group first,silently after knowing swindle.Everybody have their flats and lacs,now can bank start putting again for the next Generation agency.why the hell Bank had not checked from time to time about irregularity?whoes Money it is?may be they will get from insurance.very bad.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • harish, mangalore

    Fri, Aug 07 2015

    i am harish its my father property i dont have flat car anything if u want u check contact to police station .pradeep he is cheeter 15 years experiance in atm feeld we dont know what happend.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • JK, Udupi/Dubai

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    What Auditors are doing? how did they finalized the report for last three years?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ruben Pinto, Australia

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    I was wondering with all the endless protest meets, party rallies in Mangaluru, how people make their living.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • V.SRIDHARAN, TRICHY

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    It is astonishing to note that this fraud is going on for the past 3 yrs and the the local manager is not aware of this This can not be believed. Cash has not been tallied and replenished from other ATMs itself shows that all are hand in glove. How is the SBI is silent all these years. There is hesitation to file police complaint which itself speaks involvement of one & all in SBI and their agency. Are there no bank guaranteee furnished by the Agency? On the contrary SBI levies all sort of charges like ECS return, non- maintaintance of min. balance on the gullible A/c holders.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Now let's queue a teller counter to show protest.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • kas, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Internal terrrorists.....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • VM, Udupi

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    My mind goes to Mumbai's Dabbawala's. They are uneducated but humble, honest, well organised hard workers.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [88] Reply Report Abuse

  • vellano1, Mumbai

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    do you know one more thing..? most of the times, few of the diamond merchants, who are scared to travel in rush hours in trains, simply put their valuable jewels, inside their lunch box and give it to dabbawalas... and not one such case of fraud has ever happened with this system of transport! beat that... woh dabba kholke tak nahi dekhte.. agar dekhnge to bhi haat nahi lagayenge.. imaan ek cheez hai!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • kishore, mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Looks like in DK people want to earn quick money without putting in hardwork. other day courier people put big stone in box for one doctors mobile phone order on online shopping.now rags to riches by doing fraud.
    now i know why taxi drivers want to loot people without doing hardwork like ola taxi drivers.

    all want quick bucks with minimal effort.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [43] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prasheesh Kumar, Mumbai

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    In Mumbai also about three years ago a group of Mangalore origin people who were working for a Cash Management company had swindled Cash from Central Bank Of India ATMs in South Mumbai amounting to more than Rs.5 crores. They are still at large. Hope it is not the same gang who swindled now in SBI ATMs in Mangaluru.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • VM, Udupi

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Wow! Bank official's do not know what goes where. What an accountability!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shravan Shetty, Manipal

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Dont worry dear SBI, Anyways you have levied so many additional unneccessary charges and interests on poor customers all the way!!!
    You deserve it!!!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [56] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pradeep, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Shravan, Do you think they care? The amount will be either claimed from the outsourced company or written off within couple of years.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • vellano1, Mumbai

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    from the looks of it, EVERYONE - yes, everyone from banks, police till guards and agency, area managers are involved! this looks a big racket. Just nab, Harish and Pradeep and start a "third degree"! maata baayi budper... this is not the work of agency alone!.. if it happened in one fiscal year, I can understand.. for 3 years, these people were at large, with amount mismatch, no audit at all? nambare kebitt daane laal baag unda?! vhe vhe vhe

    DisAgree [4] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • ISMAIL K PERINJE, PERINJE

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    Some people steals cattle and transport illegally and get trashed and even beaten severally!But some people who steals whole banking system and pocketing 4 plus crore no media and police photographs or thrashes or parades!!!Any guess?why media and police lukewarm for this great theft?

    DisAgree [21] Agree [77] Reply Report Abuse

  • vellano1, Mumbai

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    because, MONEY doesnt have emotions like a cattle does. Money is meant to be usurped, exchanged hands, looted or theft or swidnled or transacted... But cows have life and god's creation, not man's and they need to be treated with dignity.. not stolen, beaten, trasnported and slaughtered like these cowards do..

    and most importantly, the bank money is insured.. no one who kept his money in this bank, will lose his deposits, like when a cattle thieves takes away a poor persons, cattle!.... and frauds to happen.. but cow slaughtering is Heinous crime in IPC! do you get it in your brain?

    about lukewarm reports on media, anything that happens in Karnataka is closely kept as a secret! be it Lokayukta mess, or so many girls being killed in coastal region be it ratna, nandita, or saumya or whoever! the corruption, arrest of mining barrons, land grabbers, and drunkard, rapist ministers like vijay kashappnavar etc, never goes to a crescendo! because, they are seculars and you are all peacefuls.. get it?

    DisAgree [6] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2015

    There is beautiful old Saying: " Money is the root cause of all evil" and now there is a beautiful new saying "Lack of Money is the root cause of all evil". So this is the reasons.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse


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