Junior banker admits £72m fraud

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The Independent Online

A junior bank administrator has admitted attempting to steal nearly £72m from HSBC.

Jagmeet Channa, 25, who worked at the bank's headquarters at Canary Wharf, hijacked colleagues' identities to raid the coffers of Britain's biggest bank.

Following the orders of other alleged conspirators, he then sent most of the money abroad. The rest ended up in an account in Manchester. But with the help of electronic footprints and in-house security cameras, it took just 72 hours to identify who was responsible and only a week to retrieve every penny.

HSBC said no customer funds were involved and no transactions were disrupted.

The back office worker, whose job involved ensuring records of trades were checked at the end of each day, admitted one count of conspiracy to defraud and one of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court. Channa, of Ilford, Essex, will be sentence on Monday.

Peter Corrigan, for the defence, told the court: "Because he had the sort of job he did, offers were made to him and he succumbed to temptation."

Det Sgt Martin Peters said: "This crime is believed to be one of the largest frauds of its kind and it is thanks to the prompt response of the police and the banks that the money was recovered."