Bank fraud: Rijil spent Rs 50 lakh on online rummy

M P Rijil with investigating officers | Photo: Manorama

Kozhikode: The Crime Branch has found that M P Rijil, former manager of the Punjab National Bank, had diverted the money he embezzled from the bank to builders, capital market and online gaming platforms.

In his statement to the investigators, Rijil claimed he had transferred lakhs of rupees to builders who were constructing his new house. Huge amounts were invested in the share market and for playing online rummy.

Rijil had invested in the share market the amount he had taken as housing loan. After he lost the money, Rijil stole funds, including that of the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation, and used it for the construction of his house.

The investigating team has found that Rijil had invested in the share market not only the funds he had embezzled but also money that he had borrowed from many of his acquaintances. It was found that he had spent Rs 50 lakh on online rummy.

The investigating team revealed that Rijil had a craving for gambling, rummy, and speculative trading. He had spent 75% of the stolen funds on such things. It was also found that he had spent long hours at night playing rummy.

Now, the Crime Branch has to verify transactions of only Rs 50 lakh more.

As per the case Rijil, who was the manager of the Punjab National Bank’s Link Road branch in Kozhikode, had stolen Rs 12.68 crore, including the funds of the Corporation.

Hearing on bail plea
Rijil will be produced in court on Tuesday. The court had remanded him in custody till tomorrow. The court will also consider the bail petition by Rijil.

The Crime Branch will interrogate Rijil on Monday (Dec 19) on the basis of the bank’s statement.

Corporation to close inactive accounts
The Kozhikode Corporation has decided to close its bank accounts that are rarely operated. As reported earlier Rijil had targeted inactive accounts. The civic body has also decided to limit the number of accounts and also shift its accounts in cooperative banks to nationalised banks.

The bank accounts will be minutely checked every month. For this purpose, banks have been asked to issue statements every month.

The Corporation employees will be given expert training to rectify errors in the accounts. Although the bank had returned Rs 12.60 crore that was swindled by Rijil, the interest on it has not been paid back yet. The bank has informed the Corporation that the interest amount would also be given.

UDF for CBI probe
United Democratic Front leaders K C Shobita and K Moideen Koya have welcomed Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip's announcement that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the fraud in the Punjab National Bank would not be opposed.

The CBI naturally takes over investigations in all cases where the cheating involves amounts over Rs 3 crore. It does not require the Corporation’s nod. The CBI should probe not only the issues regarding the bank but also the violations in the Corporation office, the UDF leaders demanded.

They also opposed internal investigation by civic employees themselves and instead demanded the constitution of an all-party committee to investigate the fraud.  

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