TT, Gangtok, April 29: A former branch manager of Sikkim State Cooperative Bank was arrested yesterday evening on charges of embezzlement of funds amounting to more than Rs 40 lakh and preparing fake salary certificates of government employees.
He was produced in a court here today and remanded in police custody for a week.
The arrested former official of the bank’s branch at Rongli Bazaar in East Sikkim, Vikash Gurung, had issued loans in the name of government employees by preparing fake salary certificates during his tenure between 2011 and 2012.
He operated 11 fake accounts where the money sanctioned under the loans would be deposited.
Police said Gurung had forged salary certificates by using fake signatures of drawing and disbursing officers at the block development office of Rongli and the HRD department. “He turned down applicants saying their loans had not been sanctioned and used their photographs in the fake certificates,” said a police source.
Later, Gurung would sanction the loans and the money would go to the fake accounts.
“The matter came to light when a monthly installment against the loan failed. When the bank inquired about the defaulter, no government employee by that name was found,” the source said. “The branch manager resigned in 2013 citing personal reasons.”
The bank’s managing director, R. Maiti, said a compliant had been lodged with Rongli police.
Gurung, 35, from Rhenock in East Sikkim, has been booked under Sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant or agent) of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Today, he was produced in the judicial magistrate’s court and remanded in police custody for a week.
Set up in 1998, the bank has 13 branches in Sikkim.