New Delhi: With banking frauds on the rise, this time the country’s top medical institute AIIMS fell prey to a banking scam and lost over Rs 12 crore from its two bank accounts. Both the accounts are with the State Bank of India. According to reports, cloned cheques have been used to siphon off the money from its non-home branches on other cities.

Even after the fraud came to light, attempts were made to illegally withdraw over Rs 29 crore allegedly using cloned cheques from SBI’s non-home branches located in Dehradun and Mumbai in the last one week, it was reported.

So, how did the cloned cheques pass as an original cheque? According to officials, the cloned cheques passed the UV ray test and the series also didn’t raise doubts as original cheque leaves with the same series were still with the institute.

“Prima facie there is no evidence suggesting direct role or complicity of AIIMS officials as the signatures of authorised signatories also seem to be forged. The payments released or stopped can straight away be attributed to the failure of the control mechanism in SBI bank and its branches. Hence, the loss doesn’t pertain to AIIMS,” AIIMS said in a report, as quoted by PTI.

Over Rs 7 crore was fraudulently withdrawn from the institute’s main account with SBI, which is operated by the AIIMS Director. Another amount of Rs 5 crore was taken out from another account held by the Dean, Research of AIIMS.

After the fraud came to light, SBI has alerted all its branches and has advised its employees against paying high-value cheques issued by AIIMS, New Delhi. “Huge number of cloned cheques paid across the country – AGM, Fraud Monitoring Cell,” read a message circulating in the internal WhatsApp group of SBI staff.

(With PTI Inputs)