Rs385m fraud surfaces in NBP’s Abbottabad branches

ISLAMABAD: The cashiers of National Bank of Pakistan’s (NBP) Khanaspur, Ayubia, and Khaira Gali branches were involved in a fraud of Rs385 million.

Sources said that they committed the crime in connivance of branch managers and while a rough estimate of the amount has been given, there is a possibility that a larger sum was involved as the high-up are currently investigating the scam.

One person named Najam Shah, who was involved in the scam, has been arrested while another accused named Sardar Janghair is on the run.

Upon their visit to Khair Gali branch, the inspection team of the bank learned that there was no connectivity system in place, keys were being mishandled, and the cashier was not aware of any financial irregularities in SAP GL. When the team checked the B-52 balance which coincided with the cash in vault, it was revealed that the branch balance witnessed a sudden increase after December 31, 2019.

The team found out that the branch manager and officials did not produce day books or vouchers for inspection. In addition to this, they learned that the adjustment accounts of the branch were repeatedly debited with large amounts which remained outstanding for long periods. Moreover, the team learned that there were large amounts in the parking accounts from where credit was given to accounts in the Ayubia branch.

The team estimated that the total misappropriation at Khairgali branch was Rs245 million (Rs146 million in cash in hand and Rs98 million in adjusting account). In its report, the team stated that it was evident that the branch manager of Khaira Gali collaborated with Ayubia branch manager and repeatedly made entries against each other for the scam.

Similarly, on their visit to the Khanaspur branch, the team learned that dual control was not practiced, no cash books were written and B-52 was written only in the past two months. The team also learned that the cash balance witnessed a sudden increase after October 2019, leading to speculation that the cash was requisitioned from the Murree branch. They found out that branch manager made huge payments to Bilal Khan (4072742520) and Ayaz Khan (4072742535) without any cheques.

Sources said that the adjusting accounts were repeatedly adjusted to make everything look normal. Sources added that 13 bags of gold ornaments were found in the cash vaults while as per ZREP045, 15 gold finance limits were outstanding in branch books.

The team also learned that there was a total misappropriation of Rs190 million (Rs119 million in cash in hand and Rs20 million in adjusting account)

According to sources, the branch manager admitted to making all entries to adjusting account and cash in hand in collaboration with the manager of Khaira Gali branch.

Sources said that since assuming office, NBP President Arif Usmani has issued a number of circulars in order to implement reforms through contractual employees. They said that this has seriously affected the working of the bank, which is why such cases have been emerging.

When contacted, NBP Spokesperson Ibn-e-Hasan said, “The bank has initiated an internal investigation and recovery efforts are underway.”

“The bank is dealing with the case as per law and is also reviewing its internal SoPs to further strengthen its systems to avoid such incidents in the future,” he added.

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