Officials of the Wanwadi police station arrested an accounts officer at the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Officers) (PCDA-O) and booked three others, including two serving majors, on the charges of misappropriation of travel allowance meant for defence staffers to the tune of Rs 37 lakh.
While the arrested accounts officer was identified as A Ravi (37), working at the PCDA-O office at Golibar Maidan in Cantonment area, those booked were identified as Major Ambikesh Kumar and Major K Kannan, both currently posted in Assam, and accounts officer S Rambabu.
The PCDA-O office in the city is the only office that looks after the travelling and dearness allowances of the defence personnel in the country, and processes their bills.
“S Ravi, posted as an accounts officer in the particular sections, was responsible for assessment and processing of bills of defence personnel and credit the amount into their respective bank accounts,” Assistant Police Inspector Prasad Sanas of the Wanwadi police station said.
He said Ravi and Rambabu, who work in the same department, were hand-in-glove with both the majors and prepared fake travel bills for them. Ravi passed the bills using his authority and credited Rs 22.95 lakh and Rs 14 lakh in Kumar and Kannan’s accounts respectively. Both the accused used passwords and workstations of their colleagues in the accounts department to transfer the amounts online.
“Pawankumar Agrawal, senior accounts officer and complainant, sensed the rot in the alleged transactions during internal audits, and started investigating the transfers at his level,”Sanas said.
He added that internal investigation revealed that both the majors had transferred Rs 15 lakh to Ravi’s account, his share, using online money transfer facility. After learning about the suspected embezzlement in the alleged transfers, Agrawal approached the Wanwadi police station and lodged a complaint against all the suspects. “We have booked them under Sections 420 (cheating), and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act,” said Sanas.
He said while Ravi was produced in the court and was remanded in police custody till July 19, they had corresponded with the respective units of the two majors for their arrests in the case.