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Currency exchange scam detected in CCBL, probe ordered

Head Cashier suspended, more heads may roll

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Jan 4: In the first of its kind cash exchange scam in Jammu and Kashmir, a major fraud has been detected in the Citizen’s Cooperative Bank Ltd (CCBL) Jammu where new currency notes worth lakhs of rupees were illegally swapped with demonetized notes of Rs 500/1000 by the bank officials.
Taking a prompt action following detection of the fraud, which took place during initial days of post-demonetization period, Administrator CCBL has initiated an inquiry into the matter and also ordered immediate suspension of the bank Head Cashier, who was prima facie found involved in the scam. .
In the preliminary investigation, though a mismatch in figures of the cash exchanged by the bank and demonetized notes received by the CCBL branches as well as its Extension Counters,  has been found around Rs 20 lakhs,  this mismatch  is likely to multiply and more  heads may roll in the scam,” officials sources informed the Excelsior.
Involvement of some top officers in the bank management and members of then Board of Directors is not ruled out, sources said and added that the three-member inquiry committee, headed by Chief Manager Rajiv Dogra, would submit its report to the Administrator within a week.
While elaborating, sources said that the fraud came into light following some secret complaints of cash exchange scam by the bank officials in alleged connivance with the top management and consequent  preliminary investigation into the allegations, which revealed mismatch in figures of the demonetized cash deposited by CCBL account holders and the currency notes exchanged by the bank.
The preliminary investigations revealed that the new currency notes received from the Feeding Chest (J&K Bank) at Town Hall Jammu, were variously exchanged with demonetized notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 without sending the same to branches and cash  head of CCBL.
Taking serious note of the mismatch in figures of the cash status, Administrator Arun Manhas ( incumbent Additional Deputy Commission Jammu ), who took  over management control  of the bank on December 3,  initiated a through probe into the scam and also ordered immediate suspension of  Head Cashier Mohan Lal, was instrumental in receiving and depositing the cash at Feeding Chest.
The three-member inquiry committee, headed by Rajiv Dogra (Chief Manager- Administration) and  comprising of Kuljeet Rai  and Rajesh Tandon ( both Managers), will investigate into the matter after compiling cash figures from each branch and Extension Counters and then submit a detailed report to the Administrator within a week, sources informed.
When contacted, Managing Director of the CCBL, Ashok Goswami, who was Nodal Officer for the currency exchange, admitted that a mismatch in cash figures of around Rs 15 lakh has  been detected so far and the further investigation was going on to identify all the culprits involved in the scam.
Meanwhile, sources informed that a team of Reserve Bank of India is also compiling the cash figures of CCBL for the last few days and the exercise is likely to be completed in next two-three days,  following which more skeletons may come out of the cupboard.

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