Funds to the tune of Rs.22.50 lakh siphoned off

A major financial scam has broken out at the Agricultural Market Committee (AMC), Repalle, after the Marketing Department detected illegal diversion of Rs.22.50 lakh from the AMC funds in November, 2012.

The grants have been allegedly siphoned off reportedly by a junior accountant at the Sub Treasury Office at Repalle in connivance with the AMC officers.

While the junior accountant has been arrested by the police, secretary of the AMC, Rajani, has been suspended by the Commissioner of Marketing after a report by the Joint Director, Vigilance, Marketing Department nailed the negligence of the AMC staff. The culpability of bank officials was also being investigated since the money was credited to the personal account of the junior accountant.

“We have completed our inquiry which established the illegal diversion of AMC funds and on the basis of our report, and the police have taken action and arrested the accused. We will be writing to the Reserve Bank of India to take further action,” said Joint Director, Vigilance, Marketing Department, Lakshmanudu.

It all started in November, when a cheque dated November 19, 2012 (cheque no 8088) was submitted to Sub Treasury Office.

The STO gave a letter of credit in the name of secretary to the SBI Bank, Repalle. The bank, in turn, credited the amount in the name of A.V. Srinivas, junior accountant, into his personal account.

The bank officials say that this has been done on the request of the secretary. Mr. Srinivas allegedly transferred the money online to various accounts belonging to his friends.

The bank officials smelled a rat when a second cheque was sought to be raised for a sum of Rs.33.68 lakh, and again the amount was sought to be transferred into the personal account of Mr. Srinivas. They reported the matter to the Sub Treasury Office.

When the matter was reported to the Marketing Department, senior officials swung into action and launched a thorough investigation. The secretary, AMC, has claimed that the two cheques have been missing, but she did not explain why she has taken four months to report the matter to senior officials. She also claimed that her signatures have been forged without her knowledge.

The findings surprised even the senior officials. It has been established that the Sub Treasury Officer has issued a manual letter of credit instead of a computer generated LOC.

The secretary, AMC has issued the cheque in lieu of Contributory Pension Scheme but the bank scroll came out with the cheque issued in lieu of Marketing Department.

Taken aback by the scam, the Marketing Officials have issued guidelines for raising money from STO. Directions have been issued to reconcile accounts of the AMC with the records at the STO.

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