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Business News/ News / Here's how SBI employee robbed gold worth 3 crore from bank's locker: ‘Lockers have 2 keys, can be….’
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Here's how SBI employee robbed gold worth ₹3 crore from bank's locker: ‘Lockers have 2 keys, can be….’

The Mumbai branch of State Bank of India (SBI) witnessed a robbery by one of its employees when 4 kgs of gold worth ₹3 crore went missing

The jewellery stored in SBI's bank locker could be accessed with the help of two keys. (REUTERS)Premium
The jewellery stored in SBI's bank locker could be accessed with the help of two keys. (REUTERS)

The Mumbai branch of State Bank of India (SBI) witnessed a robbery by one of its employees when 4 kgs of gold worth 3 crore went missing. SBI’s Personal Banking branch in Mulund West had given gold loans worth 1.94 crore, which is around 65 percent of the value of the mortgaged gold ornaments, police informed.  

The prime accused, a 33-year-old service manager, Manoj Maruti Mhaske, siphoned off about 4 kg of gold jewellery worth around 3 crore from the bank’s locker. The accused, Mhaske, resides in Raheja Township of Malad East and hails from Marathwada’s Nanded.

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The jewellery was stored in a bank locker that could be accessed with two keys. “According to the complaint given by Kumar, when a customer approaches them for a gold loan, after checking the gold for its authenticity, it is kept in the lockers, and a loan is given to the extent of 65 percent of the value of the mortgaged gold," HT quoted a police officer as saying. 

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The officer added, “The lockers have two keys and can be opened only by inserting both the keys, one of which remains with the service manager and the other with Sweta Sohani, who works as cash in-charge at the branch." 

Moreover, the police officer informed that every customer’s gold is kept in a sealed envelope in the lockers in the presence of the customer and other officials, as per customary practice.

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Employee complaint triggers police investigation

Amit Kumar, employed as an administrator with the Mulund Branch of SBI’s Personal Banking branch at Runwal Greens in Nahur, lodged a complaint, following which a probe into the incident was launched by police.

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The police officer involved in the probe informed that the theft surfaced on February 27 when Mhaske was on leave. The officer was quoted as saying, “On 27th of February, as Mhaske was on leave, Kumar looked after the locker and even filed a note in the Core Banking System (CBS) about it. In the evening, around 5 pm, when Kumar went to deposit cash and jewellery in the locker, he found that several gold jewellery packets were missing." 

Thus, when Amit Kumar checked the documents, he discovered that 63 gold loans had been given by the branch, but he found only four packets of gold remaining in the locker.  

When Kumar called Mhaske to inquire about the 59 missing packets of gold, he was informed that Mhaske had taken them for his personal use. Mhaske said he had mortgaged and even sold the gold but assured him he would return them in the next seven days. 

As per the complaint, a total of 4 kgs of gold, valued at a market rate of around 3 crore, was missing. The prime suspect was arrested by the Bhandup police on Friday, March 1, under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or banker, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code. 

Also read: China pips India as top gold jewellery consumer in 2023 amid high prices

 

Second arrest

On Saturday, March 2, the police made a second arrest in this case and arrested a 48-year-old, Farid Shaikh, for his involvement in the case. The second accused is an Antop-Hill resident who runs a saree shop in Pydhonie. Shaikh assisted Mhaske in selling gold ornaments. Mhaske gave a kilogram of gold to Shaikh, which he kept as a mortgage at a jewellery shop.

Meanwhile, both Shaikh and Mhaske were produced in a city court that remanded them in police custody till March 7.

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Published: 04 Mar 2024, 02:43 PM IST
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