It was a splendid dream that turned awry, for Prakash Jadhav. This young man is in his mid twenties; educated, technically savvy and with credit card and banking experience. Jadhav was working for the Sparsh BPO in Goregaon, Maharashtra. He and six accomplices have now been arrested for a suspected credit card fraud that may be worth up to ten million rupees.
Jadhav is accused to have master minded a plot where he issued bogus credit cards to his friends, forging information of genuine customers and creating false identities including fabricated PAN cards (cards issued by the Income Tax Department of the Government of India for a tax payer). The young men used to splurge out using the cards and Jadhav got paid a neat commission for his efforts. At times, the young men are also believed to have cajoled shops to dole out amounts on the credit cards, signing bills while they actually bought nothing.
The nemesis came along when Jadhav fraudulently created a credit card in the name of a real customer and issued the card to a friend. The guy did not pay Jadhav his dues and Jadhav decided to teach him a lesson. He lowered the credit limit on this card. This was noticed by the BPO, Sparsh, which was dealing the credit card dealing processes of the Barclays cards. In normal circumstances, the credit card limits are always enhanced and rarely is it lowered. An enquiry ensued which unearthed the huge fraud.
Barclays bank, the investment bank with its presence in over 50 countries has been in India for the last three decades. It also has its Commercial Banking services now. But this is the first time it has been in the news in connection with a financial fraud. The bank is still not giving out any details, since the enquiry is on and a full picture of the volume of the hoax is not arrived at. The initial round has shown up a volume of about 9 million rupees swindled. The police suspect it to be much more. Several incriminatory documents have been recovered and Jadhav has confessed to the crime says the police.
According to a little bird in Barclays, the Sparsh BPO Barclays’ process for credit cards is flawed. Secondly, the audit parameters were bypassed in this case, which means the entire reporting line of sups, team leads, AMs and above till Jeffrey D’souza, the AGM of Sparsh, did not have a clue of this practice going on. The rot (bypassing of controls for credit card applications and change of customer parameters on the CRM) is deep rooted. The source suggest that the actual damage or amount spent by the defrauders is in the region of 1 crore.
Vijay Venkatesh, VP South and West of Sparsh BPO, who is in charge of this process, will have the billing headache. Sparsh BPO bills approx 3 crores a month pan India (including staffing) to Barclays Bank India, and the 1 crore lost may come out of the billing as it was a goof up by the 3rd party contractor. According to the same bird, the inside news is that every manager of Sparsh BPO was tutored on what to say to the media including customers, vendors and employees. It is known from sources that Sparsh positioned itself as having taken the initiative to inform the authorities of the misdemeanor by their employees. The media spin for damage control has begun. This may not be enough and Barclays may sever all ties with Sparsh.
Techgoss note: Sparsh is the domestic subsidiary of Intelenet Global Services (P) Ltd. It offers state of the art solutions to Vertical Industries to meet their voice and BPO needs. Sparsh currently has 5200 seats operating 24 by 7, and has the potential to scale up to 20,000 thousand seats by next year.