Kerala

Special team to track down treasury official

The State police on Tuesday constituted a special team to track down the government official suspected of having siphoned off lakhs of rupees from the State Treasury.

In a court filing, the police named M.R. Bijulal, senior accountant, Sub-Treasury, Vanchiyoor, as the main accused. They named his wife, Simi D. Ambi, a government schoolteacher, as an accomplice to the crime.

Modus operandi

The police told the court that Bijulal had logged into the treasury online banking network using his user name and password. He had electronically moved ₹2 crore from the Tribal Welfare Fund account operated by the District Collector to the treasury account he held in his name. He later used the user name and password of a retired official to authenticate the transaction. The accused also tweaked the software to camouflage the transaction. Bijulal created an “electronic impression” that the cash remained intact in the District Collector’s account.

The police said that over several months, Bijulal moved the money from his account to a treasury account held by his wife and from thence to deposit accounts operated by the couple in private banks. The police were verifying how Bijulal came across the password in the first place. “One possibility is that it had remained saved in the system or the accused had retrieved it through some means, possibly even deploying a key logger programme. The work disruption caused by the lockdown appeared to have helped,” an investigator said. The police have sought the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to understand the vulnerabilities of the system.

The police have named Bijulal a fugitive from the law. His wife Simi has denied any knowledge of the crime or wrongdoing. She said her husband had left his mobile phone at home and disappeared. Investigators said Bijulal’s online activities had revealed the portrait of a compulsive gamer and online gambler. They said it was possible that he had incurred substantial debt and had slipped into crime to honour his financial obligations.

Assistant Commissioner M.K. Zulfikar is heading the probe.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 12:32:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-team-to-track-down-treasury-official/article32271883.ece

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