Mysterious debits hit Punjab National Bank’s customers
Top: Some of the victims who lost money after filing police complaints on Tuesday. Below: The Pashan branch of the bank. PIC: MAHENDRA KOLHE

Several people with accounts at the bank’s Pashan branch had money withdrawn from their accounts without their knowedge

Nearly a dozen customers of the Punjab National Bank’s Pashan branch were in a quandary on Tuesday after fairly large sums of money were withdrawn from their accounts without their knowledge.

The Chaturshrungi police received around six simultaneous complaints on Tuesday afternoon regarding unwarranted withdrawals from these accounts. Accountholders and police alike are still puzzling over how it happened.

Defence personnel Sangram Mallick said that he noticed a transaction from his bank account that he had not carried out. “Around 12.30 pm on Tuesday, my account was debited Rs 11,500. I have definitely not withdrawn this money. And, I have been hearing about such incidents since Monday. I met almost 20 people with similar experiences.” He said that the transaction from his account was made in Bangalore.

Another victim, Prashant Arya, who is a professor, said, “I had Rs 22,000 in my account. It was withdrawn in three parts — two transactions of Rs 10,000 and one of Rs 2,000.”

A third victim, Panwal Yadav who works as an electrician, lost Rs 11,000, “I work hard for my money and then this happens,” he said, visibly frustrated. Echoing his sentiments, security guard Amol Gaikwad said, “Around 3 pm, my account was first debited for Rs 1,000, followed by a debit of Rs 10,000. I am left without any money at all.”

Senior police inspector of Chaturshrungi police station Dayanand Dhome said, “We have received six complaints so far and are trying to verify the transactions from bank officials. We have started the investigation according to the complaints.”

An officer from Punjab National Bank, who asked not to be named, said “We received around 10 complaints from customers and have asked them to file police complaints. But, we came to know that customers from other banks are also facing similar problems.” She added that banks require stronger security measures to ensure customers’ safety.