Police arrest six men for withdrawing Rs1.9 million from a bank account by forging signatureSuspects caught with Rs 1.8 million, copies of citizenship cards, signature specimens and cheque books.
Police have arrested six men for allegedly withdrawing Rs 1.9 million from an account holder at Janata Bank using a forged signature.
The incident comes nearly two months after police arrested a gang, led by an Indian hacker, for stealing more than Rs48.5 million from Agriculture Development Bank and Panas Remittance.
All the six accused were detained over the past four days, police said on Wednesday.
Police also suspect the involvement of some bank officials in the case.
“Our investigation is in progress, and if we get any clue on the involvement of bank officials, we will take them in custody,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, the chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range.
Police started to investigate the case after Gopalman Rajbahak, the account holder, filed a complaint.
“On Sunday, Gopalman Rajbahak received a call from Anjan Baral, one of the accused, who pretended to be a bank staff and instructed the former to switch off his phone for an hour. Rajbahak agreed, but when he switched on the phone again, he was shocked as someone had withdrawn Rs 1.9 million from his account,” said an investigating officer. “Rajbahak filed a police case immediately after getting the SMS alert from the bank.”
Acting on the complaint, Metropolitan Police Range Teku on Tuesday consulted the concerned bank and Nepal Rastriya Bank officials, and increased vigilance at the concerned bank and its barnches.
Three of the suspects were arrested from the New Road branch of Janata Bank. The trio was caught withdrawing money using forged signatures.
“Upon interrogation, they lead us to three more suspects,” said the investigating officer.
The suspects have been identified as Subhash Shrestha, 19, Kumar Tamang,19, Manish Ghimire, 18, and Anjan Baral, 21, of Kavre; Suman Paudel, 25, of Baglung; and Govinda Ghimire, 30, of Sindhupalchok.
Police also seized Rs 1.8 million cash, copies of citizenship cards of 290 individuals, cheque books of multiple banks, specimen signatures of various account holders and two diaries from the suspects.
“We have secured a week-long custodial remand against the suspects who have been charged with banking offence,” said SSP Subedi. “Looking at the confiscated documents, it seems like they were planning to swindle many more people of millions of rupees. ”
Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobindra Bogati, the spokesperson at the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, said the group was also involved in share investments and illegal transactions of money.
“It is not yet clear how they accessed the account details of so many individuals,” Bogati said.
Three of the suspects are young college students, and police suspect that they were getting support from professional frauds.
Gyanendra Dhungana, the CEO of Nepal Bangladesh Bank, told the Post that verifying a forged signature can be tricky.
“Verifying signatures can be difficult as they could be slightly different each time. So the cashier usually looks at the flow of the letters to verify cheque signatures. If the signature seems fine, the cheque is approved after taking the signature and contact number of the person cashing the cheque,” Dhungana said.