Bank unearths fraud by its own jewellery appraiser, one held

Coimbatore: Many people who had pledged their jewellery with the Central Bank of India’s Avarampalayam branch turned up at the bank on Tuesday demanding to know if the jewellery they had pledged was safe.
The borrowers came to the bank in troves after a fraud involving the bank’s jewellery appraiser came to light following a police complaint lodged by the bank on Tuesday.

According to the police, Ganesan, a financier, pledged 190gram of gold jewellery with the Central Bank and took a loan of around Rs 3 lakh a year ago.

However, when Ganesan, accompanied by another financier, Seetharaman, and a person from private gold-based lending company came recently to pay up the money and take back their jewellery, they found out that the jewellery was fake.

“Immediately, Ganesan and Seetharaman accused the bank of stealing their jewellery or replacing it with fake gold. The bank officials in turn accused the financiers of pledging fake gold,” said Peelamedu police sub-inspector Ibrahim Basha.

“It led to a verbal argument between both the parties in front of other account holders in the bank, who had spread this news in the neighbourhood,” he said.

When the bank began its own investigations into the issue, it unearthed a scam chalked out by its own employee, Karthik, jewellery appraiser, police said.

“Karthik had suggested Ganesan to pledge fake gold jewellery for Rs 3 lakh, promising to check and approve it as real gold jewellery. They had planned to split the money and give up the jewellery, which was anyway fake,” said the police officer.

“However, Ganesan got greedy, wanted to take back the fake jewels and pledge it with another private gold company which promised him more money for the same amount of gold. That is when the bank found out the scam,” said the official.

The bank has now filed a cheating complaint against Karthik, Ganesan and Seetharaman.

“While we have arrested Seetharaman, Karthik is absconding. We are inquiring into Ganesan’s role,” the police officer said.

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