BID TO SIPHON OFF OVER RO76,000 FROM ISM ACCOUNT COMES TO LIGHT

By: Joseph Benny

MUSCAT: An attempt to siphon off funds to the tune of over RO76,000 from Indian School Muscat’s (ISM) bank account using forged vouchers has come to light.

Two vouchers of Bank of Baroda’s MBD branch for RO39,250 and RO37,259 with fake seals and signatures of authorised account administrators at ISM dated December 18, 2014 raised the suspicion of bank officials when the bearer asked the entire money to be wired into a Dubai bank account.

The fraudster is said to have left the bank on being asked for his identification proof, according to a parent, who has procured copies of the vouchers. The copies show ‘transfer’ stamped on them, which indicates that the transaction could have taken place, he said.

“The fraudster was trying to transfer the money to an individual account holder in Dubai. The bank informed the school management about the attempt to commit a fraud when its officials suspected foul play in the transactions, the signatures and the seal. The bank, along with the school management, has filed complaints with the ROP. We have also informed our zonal office in Dubai as part of the internal proceedings and the CCTV footage too has been handed over to ROP,” Vellanki Venkateswarlu, country head, Bank of Baroda told Muscat Daily.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Dr Avirat Vaishnav, school management committee president, ISM said that besides the police complaint, the school has initiated an internal probe. He however, did not comment on why no action has been taken so far. Parents of some ISM students have said that the board of directors of Indian Schools in Muscat has asked the management for a detailed report on the attempted fraud.

The ROP has said that its economic offences wing is investigating the case.

SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY