40 lakh, Agricultural Scam in Sambalpur

Police on Wednesday claimed to have blown the lid off a money-siphoning racket in the agriculture department with the arrest of eight persons. The accused included two government employees and two staff of private banks.

Sambalpur SP Nikhil Kanodia said around Rs 40 lakh was withdrawn from the department’s account in agriculture development branch of SBI in Sambalpur on different occasions. The transactions were conducted without the knowledge of the agriculture department’s deputy director, who is the authorized signatory of the account.

“Our investigation revealed that two staff of the agriculture department, Sanjib Dash and Prafulla Sahu, had withdrawn the money by forging the deputy director’s signatures. The duo had also deposited cash amounting of about Rs.13,27,160 on three occasions to avoid any suspicion by bank officials. An employee of ING Vaisya, Amit Chandak, and a staff of HDFC, Amit Sahu, helped the accused to transfer Rs 15 lakh to the local branches of the private banks,” the SP said. “The accused have confessed everything and we have recovered cash of about Rs 12 lakh and bank deposits from them. We have also seized a motorcycle purchased from the stolen money. A court has remanded the accused to judicial custody,” he added.

The four other accused were identified as Sanjib Dehury, Prafulla Dash, Sumit Arjual and Kumar Parmar.

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