Woman ‘dupes’ investment bank of Rs 3.5 cr, arrested
THE POWAI police arrested a 40-year-old woman for allegedly duping a multinational investment bank and financial services company of Rs 3.5 crore. The woman, who worked with the company for 16 years as a personal assistant (PA) to an executive director, deceived them by fraudulently buying gift vouchers in the company’s name, police said.
The woman, Manpreet Shahani, was apprehended from her house in Kandivali. Police said that Shahani was in charge of ordering gift vouchers on behalf of the company.
“The company has the policy of rewarding their performing employees with gift vouchers. They would be either Rs 3,000 or Rs 1,000 depending on their performance. Every department’s head across India would approach Shahani for gift cards as she was the one entrusted with the responsibility of ordering gift cards for the company,” said an officer.
During the investigation, the police learned that Shahani would order more vouchers than required and she would take home the excess vouchers and encash them.
Police said that she committed the offence from 2016 to 2018. However, the incident came to light in January 2019, when the company’s administration department came across some suspicious transactions from their bank account.
Shahani had ordered 2,600 gift cards worth Rs 29.90 lakh in November 2018. As there was no demand for such gift cards from any department across India, the administration department found something amiss and reported the matter to the higher authorities of the bank.
“Shahani was on sick leave when the crime came to light, however, when the admin department contacted her inquiring about the transaction, she allegedly told them that the gift cards were in the office only. She then went and kept those encashed 2,600 gift cards in the office. She later resigned and left work in February 2019,” said an officer.
The vigilance department of the company found that she had misused the process for years and had fraudulently acquired gift cards worth Rs 3.5 crore.
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