Goldman Sachs sacks India VP Ashwini Jhunjunwala for Rs38 crore fraud

Financial services firm Goldman Sachs sacked India vice-president Ashwini Jhunjunwala after his arrest for allegedly transferring Rs38 crore ($5.4 million) from the company's account to his personal accounts online to pay off debts incurred in a poker game.

"The employee (Jhunjunwala) has been immediately dismissed. We are also engaged with the authorities (police) to activate criminal proceedings," the company told IANS in an e-mail.

The police arrested Jhunjunwala under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the company's Indian subsidiary for reportedly siphoning off funds fraudulently.

"Jhunjunwala has been sent to 14-day judicial custody by a local court for investigation into the cheating case," Marathahalli Circle Inspector S.P. Girish told IANS.

According to preliminary investigation, Jhunjunwala, who was looking after the company's forex and equity settlement claims, transferred the money online from his colleagues' computers over the months to avoid detection.

"The vice-president's modus operandi in stealing the company's money was to access the finance manager's account when the latter was away from the workstation and transfer the amounts online to his accounts in India and overseas. He was caught recently (on September 4) doing such transactions from another colleague's computer," Bengaluru East Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) M.N. Anucheth told IANS.

The accused was caught on the basis of video footage from the closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in the company's office, which showed the executive using others workstations.

"The transactions timings tallied with that of the videos, which recorded and showed the executive using computers of his associates for committing the fraud," Girish said.

In a complaint to the police, the company's legal counsel accused Jhunjhunwala of trying to make up for the losses he incurred in the online gambling. One of the accounts in which the money was transferred was traced to be a shell company (Synergy Wisdom Ltd) in Hong Kong in which he had invested.

"When confronted with video clip of the crime, the accused tried to wriggle out by saying he was only evaluating his colleagues performance on their computers," the DCP said.

Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  • User

    COMMENTS

    Arumugaraja A

    1 week ago

    What\'s the use of fancy degrees and experience in working with top financial firm, if you don\'t know the basic fact that all online transactions leave a trail.

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 weeks ago

    GS is not holy cow!

    IRMA Cannot Take New Admission for 1 Year Due to Unqualified Director?
    Gujarat-based Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) was founded with the belief, borne out by Dr Verghese Kurien’s work in the dairy co-operatives, that the key to effective rural development is professional management.
     
    However, as with almost every institution supported or funded by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), IRMA too has fallen short of these expectations.
     
    For example, IRMA's director Prof Hitesh V Bhatt does not have the necessary qualifications for the job and, yet, is holding the post since December 2017, with support from the IRMA board headed by NDDB chairman Dilip Rath. With Prof Bhatt remaining director for over 18 months without adequate qualifications, IRMA is technically barred from admitting new students for one year, as per the rules and regulations of the institution. 
     
    Documents procured under Right to Information (RTI) Act reveal that the issue of Prof Bhatt’s qualifications was referred to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The AICTE, in turn, referred it to the Research, Institutional & Faculty Development (RFID) Bureau. 
     
    The Standing Complaints Scrutiny Committee (SCSC) at the RFID Bureau discussed the matter at its meeting between 22nd and 24 May 2019. The Committee says, "...it may be seen from the faculty details of Prof Bhat that he has done B Tech from IIT, Delhi, and M Sc from Atlanta, US. But has not acquired a Ph D, which is mandatory qualification for the post of principal/director. In view of the same and also looking at the entire eligibility criteria, it may be clear that Prof Bhat does not fulfil the same as per AICTE norms."
     
     
    However, the issue is not limited to the lack of qualifications of Prof Bhat to hold the post. As per the All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for Technical institutions) Regulations, 2011, the institution, which does not fulfil requirement of qualified principal or director cannot admit new students.

     
    Rule 14.3 of the Regulations says, "The Institution, which does not have qualified principal/ director as prescribed in position, for a period, more than 18 months shall be liable to be placed under no admission status."
     
     
    IRMA was founded in 1979 at the initiative of NDDB and the support of government of India, government of Gujarat and Swiss Development Co-operation. Talking about IRMA in his biography, "I Too Had a Dream", Dr Kurien had said, “My reasoning was even if only a handful of students each year from such an institute (IRMA) could grow, evolve, stride out into the world and, perhaps build some more Amuls, what a boon it would be for our rural people and for the nation.”
     
    In August 2017, IRMA had published an advertisement for the post of director in the Economic and Political Weekly. As per the advertisement, the candidate for the post of director was required to have a minimum qualification of Ph D or its equivalent with 15 years’ experience of teaching after the doctorate.
     
     
    Quoting from a release by IRMA, a report from DNA, says, Prof Bhatt, who is with the Institute since 1995 was appointed as its new director from 1 December 2017. “The appointment comes a few months after RC Natarajan, the institute's director at the time, faced charges of sexual harassment by an employee,” the report says. 
     
    According to a report by The Quint, one Prof Ram Manohar Vikas, who was teaching faculty at IRMA till June 2018, had raised the issue of lack of qualification of Prof Bhatt. Prof Vikas, who has been terminated by IRMA, had filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court against his termination and also approached the AICTE on appointment of Prof Bhatt as director of IRMA. 
     
    Prof Bhatt told the website that the decision of his appointment was taken by the IRMA board. “In 2012, before my predecessor Mrs Jeemol Unni became the director, the board had written to me asking me to apply for the post as there was a positive response from the Alumni. But I wrote back saying that I am not an academician and turned down the offer; soon Mrs Unni took up the post. Five years later history repeated itself and the board again approached me and said, ‘We would like to have you as our Director since we are not able to find a suitable candidate’. I told them that I am not a Ph D. Yet, they had faith in me and appointed me as the director,” Prof Bhatt told The Quint.
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    Disaster strikes Kolkata Metro work: Bengal Minister among hundreds homeless
    A West Bengal Minister was among over 400 persons forced to evacuate their residences and shops in the heart of the city after more than 50 buildings developed cracks—and several collapsed—apparently due to tunnelling work for the under-construction 16.60-km East West Metro Railway project—a part of which constitutes India's first under-river train line.
     
    The project -- technologically analogous to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London)—met with what the implementing agency Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) called an "unprecedented disaster" on August 31, when a tunnel boring machine hit an aquifer resulting in water and silt gushing in and triggering serious ground loss on several roads in central Kolkata's Bowbazar area -- close to the city's bustling office and business hub Esplanade and Dalhousie.
     
    While 10 buildings developed cracks on August 31, the number increased to 20 the next day and climbed up to 52 till Thursday, prompting authorities to shift more than 400 dwellers to hotels or guest houses in the vicinity. At least two buildings have caved in.
     
    Among those asked vacate their residences by senior KMRCL officials was state Planning and Statistics Minister Tapas Roy as a precautionary measure as cracks have appeared in most adjacent buildings. Roy, who has been residing at BB Ganguly Street for over a decade, termed the situation "unfortunate".
     
    Meanwhile, the KMRC has announced a relief of Rs 5 lakh to each household evacuated in a sudden/unplanned manner following damage to their residence.
     
    "The KMRCL board of directors have decided to immediately release Rs 5 lakh per family to those affected," it said in a statement.
     
    The order to vacate "immediately" came to families on Durga Pituri Lane, Babu Ram Seal Lane and Gour De Lane.
     
    Anindita Dey, 25, is scheduled to get married on December 1. Her family was given "10 minutes" on Monday to take out their valuables and important documents. But before they could get anything out, the building collapsed burying their belongings in the rubble.
     
    The Dey family, now lodged in a hotel by the KMRCL, is now banking on the announced Rs 5 lakh compensation and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to see through the wedding.
     
    The KMRCL has promised to reconstruct or repair the damaged buildings, and provide the shifted residents flats on rent if their hotel stay "is prolonged".
     
    The agency has also engaged several experts "of both national and international repute" for addressing the issue in the best possible manner", the statement said.
     
    "International experts namely Paul Vireli (tunnel expert from South Africa), Guy Bridges (Hong Kong), geotechnical engineer John Endicott (Singapore), grouting expert Kiril Shramka (Russia) and Kumar Pitchumani from Chennai are already in Kolkata," it said.
     
    According to KMRCL, the tunnel boring work has been stopped and would resume only after a green signal from the court. Company officials fear that the project could be delayed by at least a year, leading to a massive cost escalation.
     
    The court will hear the matter on September 16.
     
    Meanwhile, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim has sought Railway Minister Piyush Goel's intervention to control the damage and ensure proper rehabilitation of the affected denizens. Hakim also charged the KMRCL with negligence that has caused the "massive human suffering".
     
    The Chief Minister, who reviewed the situation with KMRCL authorities, experts, police and administrative officials earlier this week, has decided to form a core group comprising the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, City Police Commissioner and representatives of affected houses and shops to look into the tunnelling related problems.
     
    The Metro corridor bridges the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata—two of the most populous areas—has been planned to drastically cut down travel cost and time, almost by an hour and a half.
     
    The Metro would run from Salt Lake's Sector V, Kolkata's IT hub, and Howrah Maidan. Out of the total 16.60 kms, 5.8 km is an elevated corridor and 10.8 km will run underground. The 520-metre twin tunnels under the river are part of the underground stretch.
     
    Once commissioned in 2019, one would travel more than a 10-storied building below the water surface for almost half a kilometre across the 460 metre-wide Hooghly.
     
    The Metro project—connecting two of the world's busiest railway stations Sealdah and Howrah—was originally slated to be operational by 2012, but the deadline has got pushed back repeatedly due to land and other issues.
     
    The affected section—from Esplanade to Sealdah—is a 2.45 km stretch. The tunnel boring machine was about 600 metres from Sealdah when disaster struck. The projected daily maximum passenger load is nine lakh.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    AKSHAY GANESH KINI

    2 weeks ago

    This is a Kolkata Metro project, but this quote is hilarious:
    "Meanwhile, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim has sought Railway Minister Piyush Goel's intervention to control the damage and ensure proper rehabilitation of the affected denizens. "

    What a way to quietly shift the responsibility to the center.

    I hope the media calls out on such hilarity instead of publishing articles verbatim.

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