The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a US citizen Nirmal Singh, 65, who had been declared ‘dead’ in India about 30 years back, in a Rs 2.5 lakh bank fraud he committed in Chandigarh in 1985.
He was arrested from his Punjabi Bagh house in the city, having landed in the country around two months ago, in the wee hours of Saturday. A court had declared him a proclaimed offender in 1993.
Nirmal, the manager at UCO Bank, had been booked by in 1990 in a case registered at the CBI Police station. He had also remained in jail for two years before being bailed out.
On being granted bail, Nirmal went underground, while his family cremated an ‘unclaimed body’ by showing it as that of Nirmal, the CBI now says. With Nirmal ‘dead’ in the record of the CBI, he got a fake passport in the name of NS Batth and migrated to the US, where he managed to get citizenship. Later, he also got his wife and children with him and was leading a lavish life there. His wife Parminder Kaur Batth had also started a web news channel, named Bulandh TV.
“Following a tip-off that Nirmal is alive and has come back to Patiala, we conducted a raid and arrested him. On seeing us, he fell unconscious. He was provided medical aid,” said inspector Vikas Kumar, who led the CBI team, adding that he would be produced in court after his covid-19 test report.
Sources said a close aide of Nirmal, who had entered into a tiff with him in recent times, had informed the central agency about his whereabouts. Now, the CBI has also named his wife Parminder in a new FIR charging her with cheating, for concealing the whereabouts of her husband, and helping him flee.
Now a US citizen, the then bank manager had committed a fraud of Rs 2.5 lakh in UCO Bank in Chandigarh in 1985; then enacted the drama of his own death with the help of wife to flee abroad