Citibank tangled in a multi crore FD racket
By Neelima Shankar
Dec 29, 2010
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Foreign lender, Citibank has found itself amidst a fixed deposit scam worth crores of rupees. The Gurgaon branch of the bank is the nerve center of the scandal.

The branch had lodged an FIR with the Gurgaon police, thereby admitting the scam but did not specify the amount involved. Four persons have been held in the case of which one is an employee of the bank while the other three are outsiders.

The scam took place in the form of investments of high net worth individuals (HNI) who were promised assured returns of 18-20% per annum for their investments. Also fake fixed deposit receipts were issued to them. Every deposit amounted from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crores.

The money however was not invested in safe instrument like fixed deposit as promised and found its way to speculative instruments like shares, commodities, gold and also in foreign markets.

Gurgaon's DLF City ACP, Dalbir Singh, informed, "The funds were mobilised with the help of forged Sebi documents (circulars) with a promise of high returns from rich individuals."

Three bank employees who have been the masterminds in the scam are Shivraj Puri, the Citi staffer named in the FIR, his wife Nidhi Puri - both Citibank Gold relationship managers at the Gurgaon branch and investment counsellor Nitin Chawla. Nidhi's name has however not found itself in the FIR.

Citibank's spokesperson, Madhvendra Das, said, "We recently initiated an investigation into a certain set of suspicious transactions bas¬ed on documents forged by an employee involving a few accounts in our Gurgaon branch." Promising full cooperation in the investigation, Citibank said, "This issue does not impact other accounts, transactions or customers of the bank."


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