TODAY -

Four including PNB Asst Manager sent to jail
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, May 21 2022: Special Judge (PC), Imphal West on Saturday remanded 4 people including an assistant manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB) accused of defrauding the bank in the name of Start-Up Manipur, to I5 days in judicial custody.

The four accused have been identified as PNB Kanglatongbi Branch assistant manager Nongthombam Rocky Singh (32) s/o N Gambhir of Kongba Ucheckon Laikon Nandeibam Leikai; Ningombam Maipaksana (25) s/o N Joychandra of Bashikhong Kitnapan; Seram Olish (25) s/o Maipak of Chongabi Kongba Makha Nandeibam Leikai, and Mayengbam Ibohanbi (41) s/o Nimai of Ngairangbam Makha Maning Leikai.

Aside from Rocky, the other three are brokers.

During the hearing on Saturday, the IO of the case made a prayer for the four of them to be remanded to judicial custody for 15 days for further investigation.

According to the IO's report, on March 2 this year, PNB Kanglatongbi Branch manager Ksh Soroj Kumar made a report to CID (CB) stating that Bank manager SH Singsit Khupden in collusion with others had defrauded the bank in connection with the Manipur Start-Up Scheme.

The scheme was introduced by the government in 2018, with the objective of providing loan and subsidy grant up to Rs 1.30 lakh to unemployed youths.

PNB Kanglatongbi received 7 applications under the scheme, which were processed soon after.

An applicant is required to open an account at the bank to avail the loan.

Bank of Baroda, which is the nodal bank, deposited Rs 1,77,09,000 in the non-customer accounts of the Kanglatongbi Branch on November 5, 2021 .

As the applicants of the bank did not have any loan account, the loan and subsidy amount were transferred to their respective accounts.

Subsequently, the bank was made aware of the misconducts being carried out under the scheme, which was brought up in a meeting of state authorities.

After being made aware, the bank checked the data of those who had availed the loans and found that some officials of the bank, who were posted at the Branch, had committed fraud.

Based on the bank manager's report, police registered an FIR and during the course of investigation, the related documents for the sanctioned loans of PNB Kanglatongbi Branch were examined.

It was found that the loan amount was transferred to the loanees' accounts by Nongthombam Rocky with the permission of then manager Singsit Khupden.

The statements of 5 beneficiaries were also recorded as part of the investigation.

As per the beneficiaries, after being informed that they were selected for the Manipur Start-Up Programme, they enquired at the Planning Department, which asked some of them to bring the loan sanction letter, while others were told to take the loan from their respective banks.

Mayengbam Ibohanbi contacted some of the beneficiaries, while others were contacted by Ningombam Maipaksana.

Both Ibohanbi and Maipaksana assured the beneficiaries of helping them avail the loans at the earliest and as such, took their photographs and other relevant documents, in addition to taking their signatures on a bank account opening form.

Of the five beneficiaries, two had already given away signed blank cheque to Ibohanbi.

However, all five of them never visited the bank to withdraw the loan amount.

Later, Ibohanbi and Maipaksana gave the beneficiaries some money ranging from Rs 2 lakh to 8 lakh.

When the beneficiaries enquired about the remaining money, they were told that it would be given after some time.

As part of the investigation, police arrested Ningombam Maipaksana on May 18 before subsequently arresting his instructions Seram Olish, M Ibohanbi and N Rocky.

Branch manager K Singsit, however, was released after his statement was recorded as he had already taken out an anticipatory bail.

Ibohandbi and Olish revealed during the recording of their statements, that they were working at an NGO called Livelihood Business Incubator.

After listening to the IO's report, the Court remanded all four accused to judicial custody till June 4 .


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