Indian fraud at Citibank

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The Independent Online

An employee of Citibank in India has been accused of a fraud that allowed him to steal from high net-worth individuals, and involved transactions totalling up to $89m (£58m).

The US-based bank said it had discovered the suspected fraud after initiating an investigation into a "suspicious transactions based on documents forged by an employee involving a few accounts" at its branch in Gurgaon, a wealthy suburb of the Indian capital, Delhi.

In one of the biggest cases of its kind, Shivraj Puri, a relationship manager at the branch, is alleged to have sold investment products to wealthy people claiming that the products would deliver unusually high returns. He is also alleged to have forged documents from India's Securities and Exchange Board in order to receive the funds from customers.

It is reported that sources said the fraud involved a sum ranging from $22.2m to $88.6m, extracted from wealthy individuals and corporate clients. The suburb's police have issued a "look-out circular" for Mr Puri. Citibank said it had reported the matter immediately to the law enforcement agencies and was giving its "full assistance" to their investigations. It added: "This issue does not impact other accounts, transactions or customers of the bank."

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