Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (VAC) sleuths have arrested the wife of a lower division clerk-cum-cashier in the Department of Higher Education, who is the prime accused in the Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Financial Assistance scam.
The co-accused, M Kavitha, wife of K Murugavelu, was picked up from her parental home at Papanasam near Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu on Thursday night, said Superintendent of Police Shanmugham. Murugavelu, however, is still absconding.
VAC officials also raided the house of Murugavelu at Lawspet and conducted a three- hour search during which they seized major incriminating documents, high-value cheques, blank cheques, visa and master credit cards.
The case was registered on June 13 after it was found that the financial assistance meant for the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC) sponsored students of medical and engineering colleges was remitted into the bank account of ineligible beneficiaries.
A preliminary inquiry showed that 32 beneficiaries, who were not students, received the financial assistance amounting to Rs 22 lakh. The fraud was committed after the mode of payment of financial assistance was shifted to Electronic Clearance System (ECS) in 2010. Since then, the department was crediting the amount to the beneficiary’s bank account. However, some payments had been made to non-students by assigning the CENTAC serial number to fake beneficiaries. The number of cases that had come to light could be only tip of iceberg as the exact figure is not known.
The VAC had also written to banks to provide the details of the fake beneficiaries to whose account the payments had been made.
The banks included Indian Bank, all branches of SBI, HDFC and Karur Vysya.