Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate the conspiracy to steal Rs. 112 crore from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF). Expressing concern over the conspiracy, Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, on 20 September, asked the ACB officials to arrest the persons responsible.
Earlier, officials of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Mangalore, Delhi, and Kolkata had successfully foiled a conspiracy to steal Rs. 112 crore from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The CMRF aims to provide immediate relief to people in distress.
The culprits tried to use fake cheques allegedly issued by the assistant secretary to the AP government, Velagapudi. The forged cheques had all the necessary stamps and signatures. Also, they were account payee cheques.
However, the SBI officials got suspicious because the cheques were for huge amounts. They called officials of the SBI Velagapudi branch at the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat and were told that the assistant secretary to the government had not issued the cheques.
Three fake cheques were deposited with the intention to draw Rs. 52.65 crore at the Mangalore branch, Rs. 39.85 crore at the Delhi branch, and Rs. 24.65 crore at the Kolkata branch. The bank officials said the cheques also had details of the bank's MG Road branch in Vijayawada. While their alertness and caution helped prevent a massive fraud. However, the incident has raised some questions like how did the fraudsters know confidential details of the CMRF banking transactions?.
Suspecting that there is a bigger conspiracy behind the fraud, the AP government has asked the ACB officials to investigate and identify the culprits.