VIJAYAWADA: The state government has entrusted the probe into the multi-crore fraud unearthed in the Srisailam Devasthanam to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
The scam, which took place between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020 involves Rs 2.56 crore. The Endowments department’s preliminary report found serious financial irregularities in the Devasthanam, leading to pilferage of a huge amount of temple revenues by temple employees.
The report further found that the fraud was committed by the service provider in collusion with temple employees and outsourced employees of the Andhra Bank, and stated that there is a need to thoroughly probe the matter with help from cyber experts.
Following this, Special Chief Secretary (Endowments) JSV Prasad, through a memo, entrusted the case to the ACB for a detailed enquiry with cyber experts, and sought a detailed report within three months.
After the scam came to light during an internal inquiry, the temple executive officer (EO) registered criminal cases against 13 employees of the Srisailam Devasthanam and 20 other employees deputed by the Andhra Bank and other agencies. The government had also asked the EO to take steps to recover the misappropriated amount proportionately from those involved in the scam.
After the scam came to light by temple officials, Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao directed the Endowments department to appoint a Special Inquiry Officer to probe the matter. The enquiry was conducted by Additional Commissioner, Endowments K Ramachandra Mohan.
Crores of rupees taken between 2016 and 2020
The temple staff and outsourced employees allegedly siphoned off crores of rupees between 2016 and 2020 by manipulating the software used to book various Arjitha Sevas and rooms. Cases were registered against 13 employees of the Srisailam Devasthanam and 20 other employees deputed by the Andhra Bank and other agencies