Balasore: In a landmark verdict, a Balasore court on Friday sentenced two individuals to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for illegally withdrawing a staggering Rs 2.45 crore from Barbil Municipality’s bank account. The meticulous investigation and decisive judgment mark a significant milestone in Odisha’s fight against financial fraud, particularly in cheque-related crimes.
The case originated from a complaint filed by Abhisek Panda, the Executive Officer of Barbil Municipality, with the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Police on March 23, 2022. The complaint alleged the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 2.5 crore from the municipality’s bank account using clone cheques and a forged signature of the executive officer.
During the subsequent investigation, the EOW discovered that the accused individuals, Subas Ghisingh Giri and Sayed Shahbaaz Naqvi, collaborated with others to transfer Rs 2,45,60,800 from the account using clone cheques and the forged signature. Notably, Rs 70,16,520 was diverted to Sayed Shahbaaz Naqvi’s account at the Bank of India, while Rs 25 lakh was traced to Subas Ghisingh Giri’s ICICI Bank account.
The EOW enlisted the expertise of the Handwriting Bureau, analyzed CCTV footage, and sought assistance from BSNL authorities, leading to crucial evidence. Subsequently, Subhas Ghising Giri was apprehended in Barrackpore, West Bengal, on March 24, 2022, and Sayed Shahbaaz Naqvi was arrested in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, the following day.
This conviction marks a significant milestone for Odisha, representing the first successful prosecution in a cheque cloning case, according to the EOW.