Mastermind behind Rs.300 crore Citibank fraud held (Second Lead)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

GURGAON - Citibank manager Shivraj Puri, accused of cheating investors of Rs.300 crore, surrendered before police and was taken into custody Thursday, almost two days after one of India’s biggest banking frauds earlier estimated to be worth Rs.100 crore came to light, officials said.

“Puri surrendered at around 12.30 p.m. He has been taken into custody and will be presented before the court later in the day,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal told reporters. He said that more arrests could be made after Puri’s interrogation.

According to police, Hero group had invested Rs.200 crore in Puri’s account and Rs.100 crore were invested by individual account holders. Puri had further invested the money in five major brokerage companies, including Religare, Okaya and Bonanza.

Puri reportedly managed to con high net worth investors after forging Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) documents purportedly offering lucrative returns which he said enjoyed Citibank’s backing.

SEBI denied the existence of schemes made popular by Puri.

Puri, the bank’s relationship manager, allegedly cheated investors by promising to double their money. Since the task of opening new accounts had been assigned to him, he managed to dupe many people without the bank’s knowledge. Police and bank sources had Wednesday estimated the fraud to be of Rs.200 crore, up from the Rs.100 crore figure cited by police Tuesday when the scam broke.

Puri had been on the run since the fraud came to light Tuesday.

The Gurgaon police had Wednesday sealed 81 bank accounts of different banks into which Puri had transferred money and constituted five police teams to solve the case.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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