A bank clerk who stole money from a sick and elderly customer went on the run yesterday just hours before her sentencing.
Between 2005 and 2008 Bindi Dhanji, from Watford, took close to £60,000 from the pensioner's account after hearing that due to ill health she had moved to France to be with her family.
At the same time she was also stealing from a second of her elderly clients. Working from a west London branch, the clerk gained the trust of the woman, who is in her 80s, and siphoned off more than £60,000 from her savings account.
City of London Police say the victim considered Dhanji, 32, to be a friend, even bringing her gifts of flowers and chocolates.
Dhanji appears to have used the stolen money to put down an £80,000 deposit on a house in Watford.
The first woman died in France in February 2008 but her family did not notify the bank until 10 months later, at which point the account was suspended. In between death and notification, Dhanji continued to make cash withdrawals from the victim's savings.
In April 2009, the family complained to the bank after Dhanji's continued to refuse them access to statements and account details. While uncovering this fraud, HSBC also identified irregularities in the savings of Dhanji's second elderly victim.
One month later the bank clerk confessed to both crimes, claiming a man had threatened her with violence unless she gave him regular cash payments. She also told how she had targeted the women because she thought their bank statements would not be properly checked.
HSBC reimbursed the accounts of both victims and, following a City of London Police investigation, Dhanji pleaded guilty to two accounts of theft from an employer totalling £118,000.
The City of London Police is appealing for anyone who has information to contact 0207 601 2121.
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