VIJAYAWADA: Four persons, including two Secretariat employees, were arrested for using fake documents to siphon off funds meant for the poor from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said on Wednesday.
Identifying the accused as CMRF office subordinate Ch Subramanyam, revenue section office subordinate Soka Ramesh, Subramanyam’s associate Ch Murali Krishna, and Kondepudi Jagadish Dhanaraj, ACB said its preliminary investigation found irregularities since 2014 in the CMRF wing.
The accused allegedly withdrew money by submitting false documents using fictitious names. The ACB had reportedly detected 88 illegal documents and 35 claims worth Rs 61,68,000 fraudulent. The total transactions of 88 claims are worth around Rs 1.81 crore. “The CMRF officials, suspecting foul play, stopped issuing cheques to 53 claims,” the ACB said.
An ACB press release said the CMRF officials lodged a complaint on September 21 citing the irregularities. Jagadish allegedly introduced himself as a private PA to MLAs hailing from East Godavari, which the probe found to be false.
The issue came to light in 2016 when the CMRF officials found that one Lakshmaiah Yadav of Proddatur had swindled CMRF funds by submitting fake medical bills and fabricated documents in the name of non-existent beneficiaries. A case was registered at Simhadripuram police station in Kadapa in 2017.
The CMRF officials averted a major scam last year by alerting the government when some unidentified people tried to withdraw around Rs 117.15 crore using three forged cheques from as many banks. P Murali Krishna Rao, the assistant secretary, Finance Department, lodged a complaint with Thullur police and the APCID has been investigating the case.
With the unearthing of scams, the special officer to the CM had directed the CMRF officials to verify the details of processed files available with the CMRF wing from 2014 to end corruption. “During verification, the CMRF team found discrepancies such as sanctioning of excess amount to claims, similar contact number and same diagnosis mentioned in several applications and fabricated hospital summaries.
In some applications, it was mentioned that treatment was received in Chennai, Bengaluru and other cities. It was also found ENT hospitals admitting road accident cases and fraudulently accessing the CMRF website using fake credentials,’’ sources said.
“The investigation so far has revealed that corruption and malpractices to the tune of around Rs 62 lakh occurred since 2014. The exact amount of swindled funds will be ascertained soon. The involvement of other accused in the case needs to be established during further investigation,” ACB said.
Corruption and malpractices to the tune of Rs 62 lakh
The ACB investigation so far has revealed that corruption and malpractices to the tune of around Rs 62 lakh occurred since 2014. The exact amount of swindled funds will be ascertained soon. The involvement of other accused in the case needs to be established.