Assam police arrest 5 from UP for siphoning money from CM’s relief fund
Police said the accused admitted to have withdrawn money from CM relief fund in other states as well.Updated: Aug 31, 2020, 22:04 IST
An Assam Police team arrested five persons from Uttar Pradesh on charges of siphoning funds from the Chief Minister’s relief fund by forging cheques and signatures of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
According to a police press statement on Monday, the five accused were arrested by a team of seven officers from CM’s special vigilance cell on August 27 following raids at some remote areas of Gorakhpur and Basti districts of Uttar Pradesh.
The accused, identified as Mohammad Arif, Mohammad Asif, Lalji, Sarvesh Rao and Ravindra Kumar, have been brought to Assam on remand of 10 days have reportedly admitted to their crime. They said they had withdrawn funds fraudulently from relief funds of CMs from other states as well.
“During interrogation, they admitted to have committed the offence and also said that they had committed the same from other states but only recently they tried to withdraw sum from Assam CM’s relief fund starting with withdrawal of very little amounts,” the statement said.
The matter first came to light on August 10 when the Assam CM’s office detected some unusual transactions from the relief fund. The matter was immediately informed to the vigilance cell and a case registered.
During investigation it was found that some amounts were fraudulently withdrawn using cheques in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by forging the cheques and signatures of Sonowal. Details of the total sum withdrawn from the fund have not been disclosed yet.
“The government money fraudulently withdrawn was refunded by State Bank of India as there were faults on their part,” the statement said.
The covert operation to nab the culprits was successful due to close coordination between the offices of CMs of Assam and Uttar Pradesh as well as police departments of both states.
“Chief Minister of Assam has warned that he will not allow a single penny meant for the poor people of Assam to go to the hands of criminals,” the statement stated.
The scam revealed that criminals can withdraw sums from such government funds where there is less auditing and monitoring.
“This is a wake up call for all the state governments of India to secure government funds as there are huge credit balances in the accounts and very less monitoring and auditing of the funds, and this is taken as an advantage by criminals who have been involved in fraudulent withdrawal of money from government funds across the country,” the statement added.