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Odisha Crime Branch dismantles Rs 1.04 cr fraud racket

The Cyber Crime Unit of Odisha Crime Branch has cracked a case involving more than Rs 1.04 crore misappropriated from the ICICI Bank, Dhenkanal Branch. Three individuals, including a couple, have been arrested for the fraud.

Swagatika Swain, her husband Manoj Kumar Sahoo, and their associate Prasant Kumar Sahoo were apprehended by authorities. Swagatika, who worked as a relationship manager at the Dhenkanal branch, and Prasant, the Deputy Bank Manager, are accused of carrying out fraudulent transactions.

The scam was uncovered when customers reported unauthorized transactions from their ICICI bank accounts. The fraudulent activities included unauthorized overdrafts against fixed deposits, fake mutual fund investments, and misappropriation of premium amounts related to ICICI prudential policy.

An internal inquiry by the bank revealed that the accused conducted the disputed transactions for personal gain between February 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. The case was brought to the attention of the Crime Branch by the Regional Head of ICICI Bank’s Financial Crime Prevention Group in December last year.

The accused couple targeted elderly customers who were less familiar with online banking, exploiting their trust to access personal details and conduct fraudulent transactions. The misappropriated funds were invested with a money lender, and authorities suspect the involvement of higher-ranking bank officials in the scheme.

Authorities have already reimbursed Rs 87,54,047 to 11 defrauded account holders. The investigation into the case continues, shedding light on the tactics used by the accused to carry out the sophisticated financial fraud.


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