The Ram Mandir Trust, which was formed to oversee the construction of a grand Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, has reported a fraud of Rs 6 lakh. The fraudsters withdrew the amount from the Ram Mandir Trust’s account on Wednesday using cloned cheques. The account was used by the trust for the collection of funds for the construction of the temple.
The fraudsters withdrew the money by using forged cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh.
FIR registered against unknown people
A case has been registered against unknown individuals on the complaint of the trust’s secretary Champat Rai.
Ayodhya’s deputy inspector general Deepak Kumar said the FIR has been registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)’s sections. The various sections invoked are 419 (impersonation) and 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for cheating) and 471 (using forged cheque as original).
He also informed that the amount withdrawn has been transferred to a Punjab National Bank account. Additionally, he said: “A police team is probing the money trail to trace the fraudsters and people involved in compromising the trust bank account details to unearth the racket involved the crime.”
Kumar said the trust authorities have confirmed original cheques of the same serial numbers used to withdraw the money are with them.
Initial probe suggests negligence of bank
The deputy inspector general said an initial probe has suggested the negligence of bank authorities. Prima facie, the probe also suggests the involvement of bank employees. Bank employees were suspected as serial numbers of the cheques were compromised and that allowed fraudsters to prepare the cloned ones. He said the cloned cheques contained forged signatures of Rai and another member of the trust.
How the fraud came to light?
The fraudulent withdrawals caught the attention when the fraudsters attempted to withdraw money for the third time. While the earlier two transactions were cleared, during the third time the bank called the trust’s secretary for verification. The third cheque was for withdrawing a sum of Rs 9.86 lakh. Champat Rai, unaware of the entire episode, asked the bank not to clear the cheque.
In fact, then only the fraud came to light. Thereafter, the trust authorities discovered that two cloned cheques had been used to withdraw money earlier on September 1 and 3.
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