A Central Cooperative Bank (BCCB) Manager in Kupwara district on Thursday has allegedly embezzled over Rs 65 lakh hard earned money from customers leaving them to fend for a single penny.
The embezzlement committed by the manager may go up to a crore of rupees as many customers visiting the bank branch return dejected after seeing money missing from their accounts, a bank insider told Kashmir wire.
Demanding stern action against Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, accused manager of BCB Magam branch in Handwara tehsil, the customers mostly from Magam area on Thursday held protests in front of the bank branch.
“The embezzled amount includes more than rupees twenty lakhs from the accounts of two mosques in the area and a good amount the parents had deposited for solemnising marriages of their daughters,” customers said.
The embezzlement came to light Wednesday after customers visited the branch to withdraw the money but were shocked to see their accounts either having insufficient funds or lying blank.
“When we went to withdraw Rs 20,000 from the account for purchasing matting for mosque and doing some construction work, we were shocked to see Rs only 45,000 balance amount in the Masjid account on computer against a genuine balance of Rs 1,06,720 in the passbook,” Mohammad Munawar Lone, chairman Aquaf Committed Magam told Kashmir Wire while showing passbook bearing account No 63 CD, LF 149:1, Jamia Masjid Sharief Magam, Handwara
“Banks are custodians of hard earned money of people and when they turn plunderers where will the people go, ” he asked.
“We want a stern action against the erring bank manager for cheating the customers. And the public money should be recovered from him at the earliest,” he added.
Similarly, account no: 310:4 SB, LF 48:4 SB, in the name of Markazi Eidgah Magam shows a balance of Rs 1,08,399 as per pass book on 12-12- 2017 but locals alleged they were shocked to see the same account showing only Rs 22,000 balance in bank records.
The accused manager has reportedly gone into hiding after the scam surfaced two days before.
Some elderly bank customers alleged that the bank official embezzled their amounts of lakhs they had deposited for the marriage of their daughters.
A bank insider requesting anonymity told Kashmir Wire that the manager who earlier cheated customers with around Rs 90,00000 while holding the position of branch manager in a Handwara branch some years ago would receive huge cash deposits himself from customers in his private cabin and later does not made entries of deposits in their accounts to grab their money.
Police have registered a case and taken up investigations, a police official said, while refusing to divulge details adding that he can make a comment only after investigations are over. (Kashmir Wire)