Odishatv Bureau

Ganjam: Buguda police have arrested Nirmad Nayak, former bank manager of State Bank of India (SBI), Karchuli branch in connection with a major agricultural loan fraud to the tune of nearly Rs 4 lakh.

The key accused had embezzled the amount issued in the name of seven farmers of Udaipur village in Ganjan district, police said.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the seven beneficiaries had never actually availed the loan. Surprisingly, the then branch manager had availed the loan by submitting the original documents of the beneficiaries.

The matter came to light after the beneficiaries were asked by the concerned bank and issued notices for repayment of the pending dues in connection of the loan which they never availed.

According to reports, Nirmad Nayak had earlier lured seven farmers to avail crop loan and asked them to submit their documents in this connection in 2015.

The loan was also renewed in the year 2016, reports added.

"He asked us to submit our land documents, including pattas to avail loan from the bank. Accordingly, we submitted the documents," said Babita Naik, a resident of Udaipur.

Babita further alleged that despite repeated visits to the bank for the loan, the manager informed that the due dates to avail the loan has expired and asked us to come next year.

"We were informed by the bank authorities that we have loans pending in our names. But we haven't availed any loan from the bank," alleged Pipina Naik, a victim.

Satya Nayak, another victim informed that loans have been issued in the name of four of her family members.

On the other hand, Nirmad refused to comment on the issue.

"I am not able to say anything on the matter. Only after seeing the details and records, I will be able to inform anything," said Nirmad.

It is not for the first time that such irregularities have been detected as earlier Rs 16 lakh were embezzled by bank officials by allegedly issuing loans to ‘unidentified persons’ without following the prescribed know your customer (KYC) norms.

"We have sought audit reports from the bank and collecting bank statements of the beneficiaries now while further investigation in this connection is on," said Bhanjanagar SDPO, Utkal Keshari Dash.