CBI files case against Mumbai co-op bank officials for 'fraud'

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against four officials of Vaidyanath Cooperative Bank Ltd in Parli, two other persons, a private hospital in Aurangabad, and other bank officials and some persons for use of "fraudulent means" for exchange of old currency and for unaccounted income.

The four officials include the manager and two workers of the bank's Pimpri-Chinchwad (Pune) branch, and manager of its Ghatkopar (Mumbai) branch.

The CBI in a statement issued Friday stated that one of the managers was working with the Pimpri-Chinchwad branch of the bank.

A bank in Beed with links to Maharashtra's minister of rural development Pankaja Munde's family has also come under the CBI's radar for alleged fraudulent dealing in old notes.

The CBI registered an offence against two managers of Vaidyanath Urban Cooperative Bank, a Beed-based bank, of which Member of Parliament Pritam Munde, sister of the minister, is a director, along with some others, in connection with a case of alleged fraudulent dealing in old notes.

The FIR has named two others including a manager in the Ghatkopar branch of the bank, a doctor in Mumbai, a private hospital in Aurangabad and other unknown persons and bank officials.

The statement said, ''The accused entered into a criminal conspiracy and fraudulently transported approximately Rs25 crore in demonetised currency from the head office of Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank, Beed, to the Ghatkopar branch on December 19, 2016, for changing it into legal tender. Of the Rs25 crore, approximately Rs15 crore was allegedly deposited with Maharashtra State Urban Co-operative Bank and the balance amount of at least Rs10 crore - Rs10 lakh in new currency of Rs2,000 denomination and the balance in old denomination of Rs500 - was being transported back to Beed, when they were intercepted by the police on December 15, 2016. Searches were conducted today at 11 places, including official and residential premises of the accused persons in Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Beed.''

The bank, however, refuted the charges. "CBI officials conducted inquiries. We gave them required documents. The question of a case does not arise and our officials are not involved in illegal currency exchange," said bank CEO Maheshchandra Kavthekar.

CBI said the accused allegedly entered into a conspiracy and fraudulently transported approximately Rs25 crore in demonetised currency from the head office of Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank in Beed to the Ghatkopar branch on 19 November for changing it to legal tenders. It said the bank deposited Rs15 crore of the Rs25 crore with Maharashtra State Urban Cooperative Bank (MSUCB).