Kuniyamuthur resident Hussain Biwi was shocked when the officials at the VH Road Branch of Indian Bank told her that the Rs 4,31,300 she had in her account was missing.
On May 16 she went to the bank to withdraw money and was faced with a weird request: the officers asked her to come the next day with a family member. An unsuspecting Hussain Biwi took her son Abdul Raheem with her to the bank the next day. The officers informed them that the account was empty and that all the money had been withdrawn.
Speaking to TNM, Abdul Raheem says, â€śThe Bank Manager showed me a picture of some other woman and asked me who it was. I said I donâ€™t know her. He then said that my motherâ€™s savings account was empty and all her money has been withdrawn by the woman in the picture.â€ť
The woman in that picture has been identified as Najima Begum, who has allegedly made off with the money from Hussain Biwiâ€™s account.
The bank officials further informed Hussain Biwi and her son that an ATM card was issued to the woman in the picture after she submitted documents claiming ownership to the particular account.
â€śHow can the bank issue ATM card without verifying credentials?â€ť wonders Abdul Raheem.
His mother submitted a complaint on Wednesday to the Commissioner of Police in Coimbatore regarding this issue.
â€śI had gone to the Coimbatore Corporation to renew my life certificate in April. I gave the form, my old life certificate and bank passbook to those who fill the forms there. They kept the passbook with them and asked me to come after two days. I also went there and got everything back and submitted it to the Corporation Office. I got my life certificate renewed on April 5,â€ť says the complaint.
The complaint also states that she had been receiving her late husbandâ€™s pension for the past 38 years in the account, in addition to her own pension.
â€śMy money has been withdrawn using a fake ATM card. It is not possible to create a fake ATM card with my details without the help of bank officials. Hence I am suspicious of the bank manager. Hence I request you to take action and help me get my money back,â€ť said the complaint.
â€śWe have complained to the bank on May 18 regarding this issue, but there has been no reply from their side. Since it has been more than a month, we have submitted a complaint to the Commissioner of Police today,â€ť said Abdul Raheem.
Speaking to TNM, a senior police officer with knowledge of the issue said that the case has been transferred to the cyber cell.
â€śSince the complainants have alleged collusion by bank officials, we will send summons to them and proceed with the case appropriately. We need to know what loophole was used and how this was done,â€ť he said.
A senior officer in the VH Road Branch of Indian Bank also told TNM that the investigation is in progress.
â€śOur Internal Vigilance Department is also investigating this issue. We have also filed a case regarding this with the police and are trying to catch hold of Najima Begum. We will write to our head office to reimburse the amount to the original account holder at the earliest.â€ť