Mehta bank ltd

Venkataraman was an officer in a leading nationalized bank with years of service to his credit. During his long period of service, he worked in different capacities and sections. His attitude and behavior made him a trusted in the organization. Having been posted in a big branch based in a large city, he was not keen on getting further promotions.

On one occasion, when he was working as an incharge of the draft issue section, he issued bundles of drawing books from the main stock of the security forms of the branch and kept the same in his custody in an almirah provided to him. One fine morning, he removed three drawing books out of the stock of books valued below Rs. 10,000 which he had in his own custody and kept them in his house. He then started issuing drafts in various names form his house out of the aforesaid stolen drawing books by allotting correct branch serial numbers obtained from the branch register under his control. The drafts were deposited in different banks/branches of the same bank in different accouns opened in the names of the payees of the drafts. These accounts were introduced by the bank employees, and some of them were in different representations only, like Mr. Venkataraman Aiyar, Mr Venkataraman Iyengar, etc. The drafts thus deposited were presented in clearing and were passed in the normal course without any doubt or suspicion. In the evening, he would visit the concerned drawee offices and collect such paid drafts.

Having found this technique successful, he tried his hand at yet another. This time he started issuing drafts in fictitious names or in the names of his close relatives drawn on outstations without any vouchers or deposits. After a few days, he would cancel the same drafts by allowing the credits to the respective accounts in his own branch by debiting the head office accounts. He continued to do this for about three months, causing a loss of over Rs. 700,000 to the bank.

The fraud came to light thanks to the presence of mind exercised by on e of the officers at another local office. He found that on the previous day also, he had paid a similar draft with the leaf number previous to the draft presented now. In his view, it was not possible for such a big office to avoid consumption of draft leaved in this fashion. Consequently, the matter was taken up with the issuing branch. Unfortunately for Venkataraman, someone else was working as the incharge of the draft issue section on that day. On checking up the records, it transpired that no such draft was issued. This led to promt investigations and detection of the whole fraud committed by Venkataraman.

Case III Questions:
1. How do you view the present fraud case: a human failure or a system failure?
2. What are the main issues in the case, and how can our present system of control prevent such fraud?
3. How would you manage the situation on detection?

Asked Dec 29, 2014

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