Odisha EOW arrests two bankers, intermediary

The Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the state’s crime branch has arrested two officers of a nationalized bank in addition to a middleman for carrying out loan fraud of Rs 3.68 crore.

The defendants – former managing director Birendra Kumar Pattanayak and field officer Narendra Nayak of the Bapuji Nagar branch of the National Bank of Punjab in Bhubaneswar and middleman Prakash Kumar Behera – were later taken into custody. EOW officials said Wednesday.

The defendants had incidentally extended Rs. 3.5 crore loan in favor of a Lingaraj company on the basis of documents from another loan seeker.

The plaintiff, Prasant Kumar Mohapatra, was shocked to discover that a fraud had been committed against his mortgaged properties when he was served with a loan collection notice.

“Investigation revealed that in 2017, Mohapatra filed the documents of his two duplexes in Balianta at the request of the accused bank officials, to avail a loan of Rs 10 Lakhs. But Bank officials accused of conspiring with middleman Prakash Behera and others used said plaintiff documents to pledge and sanction loan of Rs 3.5 crores to M/s Lingaraj Enterprises beyond knowledge and of the complainant’s consent,” the EOW informed in a statement.

The said loan account of M/s Lingaraj Enterprises turned to Non-Performing Asset (NPA in the year 2018 having an outstanding loan amount of Rs 3.68 crores. Complainant Mohapatra learned the fraudulent act of the defendants only when notified under the SARFAESI law by the Bank in November 2018.

The investigation revealed that an amount of Rs 1.5 crores of the sanctioned loan proceeds was diverted to the account of the accused middleman Behera and an amount of Rs 10 lakhs was subsequently diverted to the complainant’s account to make him believe that the amount is his loan amount.

Again, several debit transactions were made from Behera’s account. Moreover, numerous incriminating documents were seized during the search of the home of the accused Behera, and the same is under close scrutiny.

The defendants earlier also adopted a similar modus operandi by sanctioning a loan of Rs 2.5 crores for M/s. KP Solutions against the mortgage of false land documents and pretending to be mortgage creditors. Investigation into the case continues to identify and arrest other defendants involved in the two cases, EOW concluded.

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