It was in February this year, the Pathanamthitta police team led by its inspector of police launched a hunt for 36-year-old Vijeesh Varghese, an ex-Navy person.

By Express News Service

PATHANAMTHITTA: The special investigation team arrested 36-year-old Vijeesh Varghese, an ex-Navy person, who allegedly swindled Rs 8 crores from the Canara Bank’s branch in Pathanamthitta town.

The district police chief R Nishanthini told The New Indian Express that he was arrested from Bengaluru on Sunday night and added that he will be brought to Kerala on Monday.

Though the district police team here earlier approached the state police headquarters for handing over the inquiry into the alleged financial fraud of over Rs 8 crore held in Canara Bank’s branch-2 in Pathanamthitta town to the Crime Branch, the special investigation team arrested the accused before the case was handed over to the Crime Branch.

It was in February this year, the Pathanamthitta police team led by its inspector of police launched a hunt for 36-year-old Vijeesh Varghese, an ex-Navy person.

But the police could not catch him so far. He escaped along with his wife and two children.

The police, who traced his car from Kochi over a month ago, suspected that he used the car to espace from here.

The accused, a native of Avaneeswaram in Pathanapuram, had been working as a clerk in the public sector bank since June 2019. He went missing after the bank authorities detected the alleged fraud.

According to a source with the bank, the accused was one of the good performing members of the branch and a favourite employee of the customers.

“So, nobody had any doubt about him. He closed the fixed deposit account of a bank staff’s wife without knowing that that customer was the wife of the bank’s employee. The staff noticed that his wife’s fixed deposit account was closed and soon he alerted the senior officials. Then the senior officials of the bank soon checked it and found the financial fraud made by the accused. When the issue came to light, five employees of the branch including the branch manager were placed under suspension,” the source said.

The police received the complaint from the bank authorities on this regard on February 14, this year.

As per the investigation team, the accused was in charge of handling fixed deposits at the bank branch.

He used the system passwords to close the fixed deposit accounts of a few customers and transfer the amount to the bank accounts of his wife and other relatives.

The branch, originally of Syndicate Bank, became Canara Bank post the merger.