The Forest Department has lodged a complaint with the Coimbatore District Police in connection with the alleged ticketing scam at the Kovai Courtallam waterfalls in which two officials siphoned off over ₹ 55 lakh.
A senior official said a complaint was lodged with the police after an inquiry conducted by the Department unearthed the scam by the two officers who worked at the Boluvampatti forest range.
It found that former forest range officer T. Saravanan and forester Rajesh Kumar siphoned off ₹ 23 lakh and ₹ 35 lakh, respectively, by issuing fake tickets to visitors at the tourism spot. Saravanan was transferred to Madurai circle some months ago. Kumar, who allegedly continued the cheating, was placed under suspension on December 19. The Department recovered ₹ 35 lakh from him.
Sources in the Department charged that Saravanan did not return the money that he allegedly embezzled. Based on a report sent by the Coimbatore Forest Division, higher-ups in the Forest Department will initiate disciplinary action against him as he works in a different circle, sources said.
They added that the police who received the complaint from the Forest Department were, however, apprehensive about the scope for an investigation as the Department itself conducted an inquiry, recovered ₹35 lakh from the forester and suspended him.