Friday, June 17, 2016

CBI probes misappropriation of over Rs. 1 cr in HPO - News from ' The Hindu'

Karaikudi, June 17, 2016

Sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation have launched an enquiry into alleged misappropriation of public money to the tune of over Rs. 1 crore at the Head Post Office (HPO) here. The postal department has placed seven employees, including the prime suspect, a woman, and two Assistant Post Masters, under suspension.

After the department officials exposed the fraud in May and referred the case to the CBI, a seven-member team from the anti-corruption wing visited the HPO on Tuesday and completed the first phase of investigation on Wednesday. They verified the records and raided the premises of an agent.

Sources told The Hindu that the CBI officers had taken some records. The team questioned the husband of the prime suspect, a businessman, while avoiding questioning her as she was pregnant, the sources said.

The CBI officers also raided the premises of Lalitha, who had been a savings account agent at the HPO for more that two decades and believed to have collided with the main suspect. The officials seized some money and savings account passbooks from her premise, the sources said.

As the post of Superintendent of Post Offices for Karaikudi division was vacant for about three months, the department deputed the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Virudhunagar, to assist the CBI team for two days, the sources added.

Investigation is said to have revealed that the prime suspect and others misused the software for core banking, kept alive savings bank accounts of five account holders, who offered to close down them, and showed credit in the accounts, but did not deposit the amount.

The head office grew suspicious after a huge amount was “credited” into the accounts towards interest and verified the accounts when the fraud came to light. The main suspect, an MCA graduate who had joined the service as Postal Assistant in 2011, had been committing the fraud since 2014, they said.

She had committed the fraud after office hours, using the user ID and passwords of her colleagues who were in CBI net, the sources said. After making fake deposits into the accounts, she would withdraw the money through her benamis.Advance bail

Meanwhile, the prime suspect obtained anticipatory bail from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, the sources said.

The Postal department has placed seven employees, including the prime suspect, under suspicion
Source :