MEA staffs under CBI lens for drawals from GPF accounts

The CBI has registered a case against unknown officials of Ministry of External Affairs and others for their alleged role in fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 92 lakh from various GPF accounts of the ministry during 2017-2018.

The crime came to light during a preliminary internal review conducted by the office of Principal Chief Controller of Accounts of Ministry of External Affairs. The review was conducted on a complaint received by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday from ministry’s Controller of Accounts Shailendra Kumar, an agency official said.

In its complaint, Kumar alleged that Rs 91.90 lakh was withdrawn in four fraudulent transactions made on August 23, 2017; September 5, 2017; October 23, 2017 and February 2 from four different GPF accounts in Central Bank of India’s south Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave-based branch, Canara Bank branch in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly, Axis Bank branch in south Delhi’s Saket and United Bank of India branch in Guwahati’s G.S. Road in Assam respectively.

“Rs 25 lakh each was withdrawn in the first two transactions while Rs 21.90 lakh and Rs 20 lakh was withdrawan in the third and fourth transactions.”

As per the complaint, the fraud was detected on June 7 when a fresh attempt was made to withdraw Rs 22 lakh from another GPF account. “The fraud was detected due to mismatch of name with GPF account holder and the payment of the bill was stopped through bank.”

During the internal review, it is revealed that COMPACT Data Base (software in which office of Principal Chief Controller of Accounts operates ministry’s accounts) had been tampered with and certain data fields were altered in order to facilitate the fraudulent withdrawal, said the complaint.

It was also observed that signatures of the sanctioning authorities concerned were forged and wrong file numbers/details were made on the fraudulent GPF withdrawal documents.

“Enquiry from the bank concerned has revealed that the bank accounts, through which the fraudulent amount has been withdrawn, belong to some other individual and not the GPF beneficiary. It is also suspected that such fraudulent withdrawals have been made from some other accounts also,” it said.

On the allegations, the CBI registered an FIR under sections of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, abuse of official position of Indian Penal Code and sections of Information and Technology Act against unidentified MEA officials and others.

Source: IANS

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