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‘Citibank compensation not to impact probe'

Gurgaon: The police on Monday said Citibank's decision to compensate victims of the Rs. 400-crore fraud will not impact the ongoing investigations against the accused as they face criminal charges.

“Even if Citibank has agreed to compensate all investors in the scam, the criminal liability, if any, on the part of Citibank official still stands,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner S. S. Deswal said.

The global banking major had on Saturday said it was reconciling its accounts and working out a compensation package for customers impacted by the fraud at its Gurgaon branch.

Sanjay Puri, a relationship manager with Citibank's Gurgaon branch, is accused of luring 40 high net-worth individuals and corporate entities to invest in bogus schemes by promising unusually high returns, which he falsely substantiated with a forged letter from market regulator SEBI.

A multi-pronged probe involving the police, banking regulator RBI and SEBI is under way in the fraud case.

Mr. Deswal said: “There are two part of the scam. One relates to crime (fraud) and the other relates to bank procedures. The criminal part of the scam is being investigated by the police and other bank procedural lapses are being looked after by RBI and SEBI.”

He said the police are also questioning local Citibank officials as “their involvement (in the fraud) has still not been ruled out”. Victims of the fraud include big names such as promoters of the Hero Group (Rs.250 crore) and Helion Advisors Managing Director Sanjeev Aggarwal (Rs.33crore). Other entities whose funds were allegedly diverted by Puri include OKS Span Tech (Rs.2 crore), Satyam Auto (Rs.25 crore), Mayar Infratech (Rs.24 crore), Spaid (Rs.62 crore), Karopat Pad (Rs.8 crore), Aero Infratec (Rs.25 crore) and Munab Braej (Rs.71 crore). - PTI

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