SBI faulted on ATM fraud

Browsing the net to check on his bank account during a trip to the Gulf way back in 2009, marine engineer Rajinikanth got the shock of his life when he found Rs 2.82 lakh disappear from his State Bank of India account through two ATM withdrawals in Malaysia.

He at once sent a mail to caution his bank branch at hometown Manja­kuppam in Cudda­lore district and rushed there as soon as he returned from the ship to lodge a personal complaint.

The response was distressing, so he appro­ached the SBI regional manager at Puducherry.

“After that, Rajinikanth complained to the consumer federation of Tamil Nadu (confet) and we took up the case with the RM, Puducherry. The bank filed a complaint with the district crime branch at Cuddalore and nothing more, so we moved the district consumer dispute redress forum”, said M Nizamudeen of confet.

Forum president Jayabalan and member Kalaiarasi, who heard the case, faulted the SBI for not taking quick and effective action through the Malaysian authorities.

They said the bank could have alerted the international switch centre, with which all banks sign up for operating their ATMs, so as to access the camera footage from the Malay­sian ATMs used by the fraudster who stole Rajinikanth’s money and alerted the local police to nab him, according to Mr Nizamudeen, who led the marine engineer’s fight.

After going through the case, the forum held that the SBI should pay Rajinikanth `2.82 lakh that was stolen from his account through the ATM withdrawals, together with six per cent interest and legal costs of Rs 2,000.

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