Lucknow, Mar 29: A man has been caught in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly running a fake branch of the Karnataka Bank. Police have also recovered a huge pile of fake bank stationery, including pass books, various forms, three laptops and furniture from the premises following Wednesday’s raid, said the report in The Times of India. 

The man arrested has been identified as Aafaq Ahmed. Ahmed ran the ‘branch’ as its manager though he used a fake identity; he went under the name of Vinod Kumar Kambali of Mumbai West. Ahmed carried a fake Aadhar in that name and had other supporting documents to establish his fake identity.

Ahmed had managed to convince the locals to open accounts in the branch and had even collected Rs 1.37 lakh through 15 savings accounts and fixed deposits.

Police said a team of officials from Bank of Karnataka had arrived from Varanasi and apprised them of the information regarding a fake branch being run from the district. CO (city) Hitendra Krishna said the additional general manager of Bank of Karnataka, BBH Upadhyay, had met him along with his team from Varanasi. Following the complaint, Krishna led a police team and raided the fake ‘branch’. The premises belonged to an ex-Armyman and had been reportedly taken by Ahmed on rent.

The crime has surfaced at a time when banks are already in the eye of the storm. Today, an expose by a national daily alleged that ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar played favourites while giving huge loans to Videocon Industries. The bank Board has given Kochhar a clean chit, saying those were just “malicious, and unfounded rumours”.

Kochhar had earlier been summoned by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in the multi-crore PNB scam. SFIO, said media reports, had sought information on the working capital facility that had been given to the Gitanjali group, owned by Mehul Choksi. Choksi is the uncle of PNB fraud prime accused Nirav Modi. Modi is accused of duping PNB of Rs 12,700 crore.

The SFIO had also summoned Axis Bank MD Shikha Sharma because a consortium of 31 banks had given working capital facility to Gitanjali gems.