VISAKHAPATNAM: As the authorities are digging the roots, more irregularities of the pension scam are coming to light. Now, officials are expecting that the amount involved in the pension scam and excess payments and other things all put together would be around Rs 8 crore at Seethammadhara Sub-Treasury office alone.The Treasury Department higher officials are also investigating the earlier Chintapalli Sub-Treasury case, as the amount involved in the scam has crossed Rs 25 crore.
“Some higher officials were lenient towards the accused, leading to further irregularities,” a senior officer of the Treasury Department said on the condition of anonymity.As the higher authorities went through the details of the 2011- 2015 Chintapalli Sub-Treasury records, they found that “No: 300 Other Contract Service” (OCS) accounts were misused for withdrawing huge amounts of money in the name of employee rolls created for fake employees.
In different government departments, when there is a shortage of staff or unfilled vacancies for a long time for various reasons, the government will allow those departments to recruit the essential staff on contract basis. These employees are paid their monthly salaries through budgetary allocations by the way of ‘No: 300 Other Contract Service’ (OCS) accounts.
At Chintapalli Sub-Treasury, some of the treasury employees misused this OCS account with the help of some Medical and Health Department staff and withdrew an amount up to Rs 25 crore. Earlier inspection teams identified that Rs 8.5 cr was fraudulently withdrawn between 2013 and 2014 FY from the fake OCS accounts created for the fake employees. This fraudulent activity uninterruptedly continued in the last five years mounting the total nearly to Rs 25 crore.
The scam came to light after a complaint filed at the Meekosam- Prajavani grievance cell. The complaint was filed against several employees of the treasury and Medical and Health departments working at the 13 Primary Health Centres under the purview of Chintapalli Sub-Treasury office.
According to sources, more than 60 fake employees accounts were created to withdraw money. Police have registered cases against 82 people as of today and found that several of those 60 accounts were opened in the name of the relatives of the accused.
It was also found that though aware of the scam, several treasury department employees chose to be silent and not complaint the same to higher officials. Even after the particulars of the scam came to light, some of the treasury department higher officials tried their best to rescue some of their fellow officials and subordinate staff, including the then DTO, which raises suspicion of their possible involvement in the scam.
Now, Dwarka Zone police officials are probing all possible angles in the scam involving Seethammadhara Sub-Treasury Office. “Rs 8.5 crore was siphoned off in different ways. Some Rs 2.5 crore was fraudulently withdrawn as pension amount and some Rs 2 crore was paid to nearly 300 account holders,” a senior police officer involved in investigation said and exuded confidence of exposing all corrupt officials.