Chandigarh

HDFC BANK MANAGEMENT BOOKED ON COMMITTING FRAUD OF SIX CRORES TO HIGH PROFILE PEOPLE

March 18, 2020 10:57 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

Police reported to have registered a case of cheating and conspiracy on the complaint of Sector 27 Resident Mr. Kuldeep Singh Grewal on committing fraud to one dozen prominent persons including Retired Justice Ranjit Singh. The high profile case have been referred to Crime Branch of Chandigarh Police by the DGP.

The persons booked under section 420 (Cheating) and 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC namely, HDFC Bank representative Aditya Puri (MD), Vikas Wahal ( Head North India ), Sanjeev Kaushik ( Cluster Manager ), Vikas Tuteja ( Branch Manager at the time of the scam), ishi Nanda ( Branch Manager, HDFC bank GK -1 branch New Delhi ) Saurav Ghosh, Senior manager of HDFC bank and his wife Mrs Munmun Ghosh, along with other Employess of GK-1 branch of HDFC Bank, namely Anthony Alferdo rodrigues, Naresh Kumar, Sidharth Pareva, Mohd Waseem and Ishtiaque Ahmed ( Employee of HDFC life ) for committing acts of fraud, forgery, cheating, criminal breach of trust by the bank and other acts as alleged.

 

Saurav Ghosh joined HDFC Bank on 27  October 2014 and appointed as IMPERIA Relationship Manager primarily to handle high net worth accounts. While giving this assignment the Bank Management failed to check his background which involved two cases of fraud in Pune and Saket (New Delhi). In the Saket case he was convicted on 26/07/2019, under section 138 read with section 141 of The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and sentenced to one year imprisonment.

In his complaint Mr. Grewal said, on the pretext of making safe and lucrative investments into various companies/entities which we now find were solely created for routing our funds for their own use. As a result of he lost RS 52.50 lacs and the total amount lost by my close relations/ friends adds up to rs 660.75 lacs (Excluding RS 204 lacs diverted to HDFC life).

RELATIVES WHO LOST HEAVY AMOUNT

Mr Randeep Mann Son-in–law, Smt Kaushalya Mann Randeep Mann’s Mother, Mr Arjun Mann Grandson, Mrs Jaskiran Mann family relation , Mr Ennio Falco Arjun Mann’s shooting coach. Mr Manvinder Salkan Randeep Mann’s cousin, .Justice Ranjit Singh son’s father-in–law , Mr Harcharan Singh Cheema brother-in-law , Mrs Satjit Kaur Bawa close friend of daughter, .Mr. Kanak Singh close family friend,.Justice H S Bedi colleague and close friends of justice Ranjit Singh.

WHO IS SAURAV GHOSH

Saurav Ghosh joined HDFC Bank on 27 / 10 / 2014 and appointed as IMPERIA Relationship Manager primarily to handle high net worth accounts. While giving this assignment the Bank Management failed to check his background which involved two cases of fraud in Pune and Saket (New Delhi). In the Saket case he was convicted on 26/07/2019, under section 138 read with section 141 of The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and sentenced to one year imprisonment. Saurav Ghosh position as Imperia Relationship Manager (IRM) in the leading bank of the country gave him an ideal opportunity to entice HNW customers to open an imperia account with HDFC Bank GK- 1 Branch and transfer their funds from other accounts to this account. As IRM he would advise the customers that he would personally handle their accounts to ensure that they enjoyed all the benefits of Imperia account and make investments with international funds giving attractive returns of 18-20 % per anum. The customer felt that as they were dealing with a Senior Manager of the best bank in the country with enviable reputation, any investments through the bank would be safe.

Saurav Ghosh joined HDFC Bank on 27  October 2014 and appointed as IMPERIA Relationship Manager primarily to handle high net worth accounts. While giving this assignment the Bank Management failed to check his background which involved two cases of fraud in Pune and Saket (New Delhi). In the Saket case he was convicted on 26/07/2019, under section 138 read with section 141 of The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Having enticed the customers to park their funds with HDFC GK-1 Branch, he needed a mechanism to move these funds out of the bank to other accounts from where they can be diverted for his own use. To achieve this objective he enrolled two key employees of HDFC GK-1 Branch, namely Anthony Alfredo Rodrigues, the Operations Manager and Naresh Kumar, the Teller Authoriser by offering them partnership in a Non Banking Finance Company that he was planning to set up with the scammed money. Between the three of them they could prepare and process all the documents/vouchers required to transfer out of the customer accounts with the Bank. To make things easier, one of Saurav Ghosh's henchman by the name of Ishtiaque Ahmed (an employee of HDFC LIFE) would arrange forging of customers signatures by Mohd Waseem another employee of the Bank. 

HOW GHOSH  COMMITTED FRAUD  

To complete the scam Saurav Ghosh initially used to transfer funds from customers account with the Bank to companies like SHINE ENTERPRISES, SB ENGINEERING, X-FACTER and SHREE RAMA, who in turn transferred the funds to his accounts after deducting their brokerage fee. In due course he went a step further and set up his own company called FINCAP INTERNATIONAL as a proprietary concern in the name of his other henchman Himanshu Hazra who would sign documents/cheque's as directed by Saurav Ghosh. He was clever to borrow this name from an International Fund by the same name and he would tell the customers that FINCAP INTERNATIONAL is a subsidiary of the International Fund and could afford to give high returns as it only dealt with the leading Banks of the country for covering their short term requirements. To establish authenticity of FINCAP INTERNATIONAL he paid interest to some of the customers for the year 2015 / 2016.

Saurav Ghosh, thus managed to tie up all the ingredients required to operate a well planned scam. He used the portals of HDFC BANK, the leading bank of the country, by using the Bank's premises, the accounts of the customers of the Bank and the employees of the Bank to successfully operate the scam planned by him. Once the customers funds were deposited in their account with HDFC GK-1 Branch, he had a perfect mechanism in position to transfer these funds to any other account of his choosing. Saurav Ghosh and his colleagues also managed to stop SMS alerts to customers.

In fact the transfer mechanism worked so well that he could arrange to. a ) transfer on 02/09/2016, RS 2,00,000/- from the account of Mrs Kaushalaya Mann to the account of Justice Ranjit Singh without any authority. b ) transfer on 23/02/017,Rs 1,00,000/- and Rs 5,00,000/- from the account of Mr Kanak Singh to the account of Mr Randeep Mann without any authority. c ) transfer on 26/08/2016 , Rs 5,00,000/- from the account of Dibyendu Bannerjee (a co - Director with Ghosh's wife in other companies) to the account of Mrs Kaushalaya Mann. d ) transfer on 19/08/2016, Rs 45,00,000/- from the account of Mr Kanak Singh to the account of Debyendu Bannerjee CO-Director with Ghosh's wife in other companies) without any authority. All the persons named in these transactions have no financial dealings with each other. In fact in the case of (b).( c) and (d) transfers , the persons have never met each other . 4 ) . To keep the Bank Management happy with his performance of the Imperia account in the GK-1 Branch Saurav Ghosh would arrange to transfer 20-30 % of the customers funds to HDFC LIFE in which the Bank acts as a corporate agent. These funds were transferred without any authority from the account holder or any signed mandate for auto debit .

The insurance policies were issued on the basis of UNSIGNED proposal forms . In one or two cases the signatures appearing on the documents accompanying the proposal form were forged. HDFC LIFE and Bank have since returned the premium amounts paid by the complaint and relatives without any interest on the funds used by them for more than three years.

Complaiant met Saurav Ghosh in May/June 2015 through Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh. Over the next few months he managed to persuade me to open an Imperia account with HDFC GK-1 Branch, promising that he would invest my funds to give a minimum return of 18% per annum. He transferred on 17/09/2015, Rs44. 00 Lacs to the newly opened account with HDFC GK-1 Branch by preclosing fixed deposits with ICICI, HDFC Sector 8 Branch and INDUSIND banks in Chandigarh. On the same day, two transfers of Rs 7.50 Lacs each were made to HDFC LIFE without any authority from me or any mandate for auto debit. At the time of opening my account, I had given to Saurav Ghost, in good faith and trust five blank signed cheques, thinking that a Senior Manager of a reputable leading Bank of the country would not cheat me in any way.

According to FIR the accused transferred to the account of SHINE ENTERPRISES, a completely unknown company .On checking with Saurav Ghosh assured that the funds have been transferred to FINCAP International and that they will get interest at the rate of 20% per annum and that the final closure of his account will be done by FINCAP. Two more transfers were done on 22/09/2015 and 06/03/2017 for RS 5.00 Lacs and Rs 1.00 Lac respectively without any authority or cheques issued by me. In January 2017. Saurav Ghosh advised me that he would be transferring Rs 6.50 Lacs to my account as interest on my investments . As I did not need this money at that time I asked him to reinvest it along with Rs 5.00 Lacs loan returned by my son. To this date I cannot trace any entry in my account showing this transaction. In December 2017 he desperately pleaded with me to transfer Rs 5.00 Lacs to FINCAP International and he insisted that this transaction should not take place through HDFC GK-1 Branch account as he was having some problems with the Brach Manager of the Bank. I transferred Rs 5.00 Lacs from my account with Canara Bank in Chandigarh. Thus a total amount of Rs 52.50 Lacs was fraudulently transferred to other companies specifically set up by Saurav Ghosh and his associated to syphon our funds for their own use.


In March 2018, Saurav Ghosh sent a cheque for RS 2.20 Lacs issued by FINCAP International , as part payment of interest. The cheque was returned by SBI Bank with the notation ' ACCOUNT CLOSED'.

In the second half of 2017, Saurav Ghosh did have a problem with the Branch Manager of HDFC GK-1 Branch. Later found that Ghosh had managed to persuade another customer to invest Rs 1.00 Cr with FINCAP International. This transaction came to the notice of the Branch Manager who made some enquiries and the amount was returned to the customer.

The Bank also instituted an Investigation into the transactions carried out by Saurav Ghosh. It was during this period that Ghosh started insisting on NO transactions through the HDFC GK-1 Branch accounts. Saurav Ghosh eventually resigned from the Bank in January 2018 and this must have been as a result of the investigation. As expected the bank denies this and maintain that Saurav Ghosh resigned on his own free will. I find it very difficult to believe that a perfectly intelligent person like Saurav Ghosh would voluntarily leave the services of the leading Bank of the country in which he is holding the position of a Senior Manager.

It is quite a normal practice with large business houses to brush such scams under the carpet with the sole purpose of protecting their hard earned reputation. It seems that HDFC BANK decided to follow this practice and did not think it necessary to warn the other customers and take steps to protect the investments done fraudentally by the employees of the Bank from their accounts with the Bank .

2.20 LACS CHECK BOUNCING ALERTED COMPLAINANT

Complainant, found something suspicious when Saurav Ghosh resigned from the Bank and the interest amount was not realized on investments. A cheque for Rs2.20 Lacs issued by FINCAP International to cover part payment of interest due to me was returned by SBI BANK with the notation 'ACCOUNT CLOSED’.

FINCAP INTERNATIONAL PEROVED FACTITIOUS

Further enquiries over the next few months revealed that FINCAP INTERNATIONAL was fictitious Company set up Saurav Ghosh and that all our funds transferred to FINCAP account with SBI BANK, Chitranjan Park Branch, have been diverted to his own/his wife MUNMUN's accounts and the accounts of his associates and other companies for their own use. Based on these findings the issue WAS RAISED with HDFC BANK vide our letter dated 21/02/2019. Mr Rishi Nanda, the Branch Manager of HDFC GK - 1 Branch asked us to submit separate complaints by respective claimants. This was done in March 2019 along with a detailed statement of all the transactions/investments carried by Saurav Ghosh from our accounts with the Bank.

'MINI PONZI' SCHEME

Mr. Grewal followed  with another letter dated 06/05/2019 in which  said that a 'MINI PONZI' scheme was being operated by Saurav Ghosh under the portals of HDFC BANK. As expected the BANK denied all the allegations suggesting that it was a figment of my imagination and that I should withdraw my letter or face consequences.

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