September 10, 2019 / 1:24 PM / 4 months ago

Goldman employee in India arrested over $5 mln theft complaint - police

* Funds recouped by Goldman "almost immediately" - source

* No lawyer has yet showed up to represent employee - police

* Goldman has fired employee, working with police - spokesman

By Sachin Ravikumar

BENGALURU, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Indian police arrested a Goldman Sachs vice president on Tuesday after the Wall Street bank complained that he had tried to siphon more than $5 million of its funds, a police official said on Tuesday.

Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, part of Goldman's Bengaluru operations in southern India, last week used the computers of three junior employees to transfer 380 million rupees ($5.3 million) of the bank's money, according to the complaint filed by Goldman.

Reuters could not reach Jhunjhunwala in custody, and police official B.P. Girish said no lawyer had yet approached them on his behalf.

"We arrested him today," Girish, the inspector at the Bengaluru police station where the complaint was filed, said. "He will be produced before the magistrate tomorrow."

According to Goldman's complaint, Jhunjhunwala summoned the three employees on Sept. 4 on the pretext of training, but sent them on an errand for a few minutes and used their systems to transfer the funds to a bank account in China.

Goldman said it had fired the employee. "We are engaged with the authorities to activate criminal proceedings," a spokesman said.

The funds were recouped by Goldman "almost immediately", a source briefed on the matter said, adding that they belonged to the bank and not any of its clients.

Goldman's Bengaluru operations have roughly 5,000 employees largely in engineering, technology and back-end roles. The New York-headquartered firm had 36,600 employees globally as of end-2018.

$1 = 71.8750 Indian rupees Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Additional reporting by Derek Francis; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Jan Harvey

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