Months after two employees of a government bank were held responsible for theft of Rs 20 lakh and asked to pay up the stolen sum, Mumbai Police have arrested a 34-year-old data entry operator in this connection. The accused had also allegedly deleting CCTV footage afterwards.
Last week, Vile Parle Police arrested Biren Vakhariya, an employee of a private company to which the bank had outsourced its data entries. Vakhariya was a frequent visitor to the bank for this purpose and had become familiar with its cash chest operations. The theft took place in December 17 2019, police said. As CCTV footage had been deleted, bank officials could not identify the culprit.
“An internal inquiry was conducted and two bank employees were held responsible. The bank officials went on to recover the missing amount as each of them were made to pay Rs 10 lakh,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Avinash Dharmadikari.
When one of the bank officers approached Vile Parle police station five days after the theft and narrated his plight, police asked the bank to lodge an FIR. However, the bank declined and police did not pursue the case.
However, in January this year, the bank concluded that it had wrongly implicated the two officials and approached police with a complaint. “Accordingly, a case was registered on January 21,” said Police Sub-Inspector Amit Bagul.
Police managed to retrieve the CCTV footage that was deleted by the culprit, after which Vakhariya was identified as the accused. “A team was sent to his Borivali residence and he was brought to the police station for inquiry, during which he confessed to stealing,” Bagul added.
Police have managed to recover Rs 9 lakh, while Vakhariya has been booked for theft and is currently in judicial custody.
“We were happy that we could save the reputation of the two innocent bank officers who were blamed and fined during an internal inquiry by the bank,” said an officer.