Odisha EOW apprehends fraudster in Rs 9.6 crore bank cheque cloning case

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), April 29: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha has made a significant breakthrough, arresting a fraudster involved in a Rs 9.6 crore Bank of India cheque cloning case. The accused, identified as Pomesh Tembhare, was apprehended from Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, on April 26 and is set to be presented in court in Balasore on Monday, according to an EOW release.

The case stems from a complaint lodged by Sujata Kanungo, chief manager of Bank of India, Baripada, regarding illegal transactions amounting to Rs 9,56,76,600 from the account of the District Mineral Foundation Trust of Zilla Parishad, Mayurbhanj. Investigations revealed that fraudsters had transferred the amount to two different accounts—PT Constructions & Supplier maintained with Bank of Maharashtra and S K Enterprises maintained with Punjab & Sindh Bank—using forged or cloned cheques.

Subsequently, the funds were diverted to multiple accounts, with Rs 5,04,06,900 being blocked and Rs 13,56,948 frozen in 33 accounts.

Tembhare, the arrested individual, was found to be the owner and signatory authority of PT Constructions & Suppliers, which received over Rs 2.68 crore in illegal transfers. He had diverted funds to various accounts, including self-withdrawals, before going into hiding in a Maoist-infested village.

The EOW, with assistance from local police and CAPF, apprehended Tembhare, whose firm, PT Constructions & Suppliers, based in Raipur, was found to be a front for fraudulent activities. Investigations suggest his involvement in a larger network spanning Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, with a history of similar frauds over the past four years involving sophisticated techniques such as cheque cloning and multi-layered money transfers.

The ongoing investigation has unearthed significant clues that may aid in identifying other members of the gang, including the mastermind.

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