Gurgaon police on Thursday arrested Citibank relationship manager Shivraj Puri, who alleged masterminded a major fraud in one of the bank’s branch in the north Indian state of Haryana.
Top police officials declined to give details. Puri is likely to be produced before a court on Friday.
“I have already given full details to the police. I have full faith in the judiciary. Truth will come out, ” Puri was quoted as telling reporters after his arrest.
Meanwhile, the size of the banking fraud could be about $70 million, according to Gurgaon Police Commissioner S S Deswal.
The police have constituted 40 teams to crack the case that involved alleged siphoning off funds taken as investments from high networth individuals into a personal account of the main suspect Puri and three of his accomplices, Deswal told journalists.
Puri's father Raghuraj Puri is said to own a brokerage firm Norway Martin through which funds were diverted and invested in the stock market, he said.
A media report also quoted an unnamed source as saying that the accused owned several properties in India’s national capital region.
A report also quoted an investor who Shiv Raj allegedly cheated as saying that: “This smart banker met me one- and-a-half-years ago. He came with a lucrative scheme and seemed to know his trade well. I was instantly taken in by his soft talk. He was not pushy like other banking professionals.”
Puri, who was a relationship manager with the American bank, opened 78 accounts in his name and in the names of his grandparents, Premnath Puri and Sheela Premnath Puri besides an account in the name of his mother Deeksha Puri.
These accounts are with different financial institutions including banks and brokerage houses spread across Gurgaon, Delhi and Kolkata among which Religare, Bonanza and India Infoline also figure in the list. The banks include SBI , HDFC , Standard Chartered, PNB, Axis and ABN-Amro.
Notices have been sent to the banks to seize all the accounts, Deswal said. “We have formed five special teams to investigate the case. And we are hot on Puri's trail,” he said.