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Ministry of External Affairs employees under Central Bureau of Investigation lens for General Provident Fund accounts withdrawal

NEW DELHI, July 13: 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 2017-18.

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In its complaint, Kumar alleged that Rs 91.90 lakh was withdrawn in four fraudulent transactions made on August 23, 2017; September 5, 2017; October 23, 2017 and February 2 from four different GPF accounts in Central Bank of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“Rs 25 lakh each was withdrawn in the first two transactions while Rs 21.90 lakh and Rs 20 lakh was withdrawan in the third and fourth transactions.”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.

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 and details were made on the fraudulent GPF withdrawal documents.

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. (IANS)

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