5 yrs on, Odisha Govt asks CB to probe bank fraud

Bhubaneswar/ Dhenkanal: Five years after the much hyped loan fraud in Dhenkanal Urban Co-operative Bank, the State government seems to have woken up from its deep slumber and initiated measures to crack the scam.

The State Cooperation department recently shot off a letter to the DGP and CID (Crime Branch) to investigate the large-scale monetary irregularities. The department, in its letter, promised administrative action against the fraudsters based on the findings of the Crime Branch inquiry.

“The department officials had availed loans to the tune of Rs 7 or 8 lakh and did not repay. The chief minister ordered us to hand over the charge of investigation to Crime Branch which would find out the person responsible for fraud”, Cooperation minister Damodar Rout said.

The letter dispatched to the police headquarters said the loan sub-committee had sanctioned loans to the tune of Rs 2.48 crore on June 13, 2011. However, the details of the loan amount were allegedly tampered and overwritten that put hindrance in collecting the sanctioned sums in time. The bank became bankrupt and subsequently was declared liquidated on February 17, 2010 by the registrar of Cooperative society following an order of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“The sanctioned loan amount could not be collected as per the RBI target for which the bank was closed”, accountant Sarat Samal said.

On the other hand, the depositors are passing through a tough time after liquidation. “I had deposited Rs 25 lakh after selling my land in order to meet the expenses of my daughter’s marriage. After the bank was declared liquidated, my financial backbone has broken down. Now, it is a very hard task to maintain my family”, Rabi Narayan Satpathy, a depositor, said.

The bank, which was functioning at Jagannath Road in Dhenkanal town, now has been shifted to Durga Bazar where it is operating temporarily with a handful of employees at a rented building.