BHUBANESWAR: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested Abinash Kumar Pradhan, an accused in the embezzlement of Rs 5 crore National Health Mission (NHM) funds. The money was siphoned off from the account of Zilla Swasthya Samiti in Sonepur on April 7 by hacking the public financial management system (PFMS) of NHM.
Pradhan was arrested from Bhubaneswar. Based on a report of Sonepur chief district medical officer (CDMO), the EOW had registered a case in this connection on May 1 this year and launched an investigation. The CDMO had alleged that Rs 5.01 crore was unauthorisedly diverted from the account of Zilla Swasthya Samiti. EOW investigation revealed that one Rajkishore Nayak of Bhawanipatna, who was engaged as an accountant at Sonepur NHM on a temporary basis from April, 2016 to December last year, had hatched a conspiracy with his relative Abinash, Ananta Charan Pradhan of Pipili and others.
They generated an e-cheque of `5 crore by hacking the NHM portal on April 2 this year. Rajkishore, who had also worked as an accountant at SVNIRTAR in Olatpur on a temporary basis, and other culprits fabricated the seal of Sonepur CDMO and ADMO and used it to stamp the e-cheque. The accused then placed it before an SBI branch in Sonepur for clearance following which the amount was transferred to the account of Naturals - a beauty parlour - in Central Bank of India’s main branch in Rourkela on April 7 this year.