our people, including a bank manager, have been arrested in connection with an alleged theft of valuables worth over Rs 2.5 crore from nine lockers of the Central Bank of India’s Karachikhana branch here, police said on Sunday.
Stolen ornaments weighing 342 grams have been recovered from the arrested accused, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Pramod Kumar said.
Bank manager Ram Prasad, Chandraprakash, Karan Raj and Rakesh were arrested on Saturday, he added.
Police, however, failed to nab assistant bank manager Shubham Malviya, who has been absconding since a probe was launched in the matter.
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Talking to PTI, the DCP said Prasad and Malviya allegedly broke open the lockers, took away the ornaments and sold those off.
According to norms, a five-member committee comprising two bank managers, a legal advisor and two independent witnesses is to be formed to open the inoperative lockers, but the arrested manager defied the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) norms, DCP (Crime) Salmantaj Jafertaj Patil said.
When a Special Investigation Team (SIT) launched its investigation, discrepancies were found in the register and other records of the bank. The probe suggested that 29 inoperative lockers were opened. When police interrogated locker technician Chandraprakash, he initially tried to mislead them but later, broke down and confessed to his crime.
He told the interrogators that he had broken open 29 lockers, of which about a dozen had valuables.
At least nine customers of the bank branch had found valuables worth crores of rupees missing from their lockers, police had said on Friday.
Three FIRs have so far been lodged in connection with the matter.
The incident came to light on March 14, when Manju Bhattacharya, one of the customers of the bank, checked her locker and found valuables missing.
Sita Gupta also reported the same happening with her.
When the news appeared in the local newspapers, other customers rushed to the bank, of whom seven since Tuesday have said valuables have gone missing from their lockers, Kumar said.
The total cost of the stolen articles is estimated to be over Rs 2.5 crore, with each customer reporting a loss of about Rs 30 lakh in valuables, he added.