Ayodhya: The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered an FIR against unknown persons for fraudulently transferring Rs 6,00,000 from the bank account of the Ram Mandir Trust. The fraudulent transfer has been done through two fake cheques. The fraud was detected when an attempt was made to transfer around Rs 10 lakh with a third cheque. The bank found out that the check was counterfeit. A case has been registered at the Kotwali police station here. The complaint has been filed by the Ram Mandir Trust secretary and VHP leader Champat Rai.
“We have seized the account in which the fund has been transferred. A police team has been sent to Lucknow and another team to Mumbai. The account in which the money has been transferred is of Maharashtra,” Ayodhya DIG Deepak Kumar told this agency. He said those behind the crime have withdrawn Rs 4,00,000 from the fraudulently transferred amount. The remaining Rs 2,00,000 is still in their account.
The FIR said that Rs 2.5 lakhs was fraudulently transferred from the Trust’s account in State Bank of India (SBI), September 1. Then another Rs 3.5 lakh was transferred September 8.
The issue came to light after a senior official of the SBI in Lucknow called Rai. He wanted to confirm if the Trust had issued a cheque for transfer of Rs 9.86 lakh.
“We give phone calls to all our customers before clearing cheques (with large amounts). I myself called the customer regarding the clearing of cheque for Rs 9 lakhs 86 thousand. The customer (Rai) received the phone after many repeated calls,” Mona Rastogi, deputy manager of the clearing department of SBI said.
Rastogi asserted it was certain that bank officials had called on the Trust’s registered phone number to confirm payments for the first two ‘fake’ cheques.
“Definitely the bank had called the customer before clearing the cheques of Rs 2.5 lakhs and Rs 3.5 lakh. The call records and details are being checked to ascertain if the customer had received the calls,” she said.
Rastogi said had Rai not taken her call, the third cloned cheque would also have been cleared. It appeared as original and the signatures too raised no doubts. “The cheques are cleared if the norms are followed and the signatures are found to be correct,” she informed.
In his complaint filed with the police, Rai stated that the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has crores of rupees in its bank account. It was earlier unaware that the funds were fraudulently transferred from the account.