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It takes a police probe for him to convince officials that he is alive

It took a police investigation and numerous documents for a 63-year-old real estate agent, Nazeer Ahmed, to convince a private bank that he was “not dead”.

A series of unfortunate events led to the closure of his bank account, and his money was transferred to the account of the widow of his namesake.

On August 16, Nazeer, a resident of Padarayanapura, and his daughter walked into the private bank’s office on Kasturba Road after he received messages that ₹1.7 lakh from his account had been transferred out and the account closed after “his demise”.

Bank officials were flummoxed, and on checking their records, they found that the account had been closed after Khalida Khanum, also a resident of Padarayanapura, had produced a death certificate as well as recent bank transactions that showed that her husband — also named Nazeer Ahmed — had died. Following this, on August 13, the account was closed and the money transferred.

After this, a letter was sent to real estate agent Nazeer Ahmed, who then rushed to confront bank officials. He then filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police, suspecting fraud committed by Khanum.

Probe clears air

However, an investigation cleared the air. The police found that a courier boy had wrongly delivered the annual bank statement belonging to the real estate agent to the house of Khanum, whose husband, a private company employee, had died barely six months ago. Assuming that her deceased husband had a bank account, without her knowledge, in the private bank, she approached the bank to close it.

Officials there unthinkingly transferred the money to Khanum’s account. “They may have acted out of sympathy, but the bank failed in its verification process to identify the actual Nazeer Ahmed who owned the account,” the police said.

Following procedure, the bank sent a formal letter of closure to Nazeer Ahmed, and this time, the courier service delivered it to the correct address.

“The widow is innocent. But we have registered a criminal complaint against the bank for their failure,” said a senior police officer.

Police have said the bank will reverse the transaction and send the amount to Nazeer Ahmed.