Another Fraudster Arrested For Siphoning Off Rs 5 Cr Govt Funds

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch here has arrested one more person in connection with the alleged embezzlement of Rs 5 crore government funds in Sonepur district in April this year.

The arrested has been identified as Abinash Kumar Pradhan. He was nabbed from Bhubaneswar on October 18, an EOW release said.

With this, the number of arrests in the fraud has gone up to four. While Samir Kumar Pati of Rourkela was arrested on May 4, Rajkishore Nayak of Bhawanipatna & Ananta Charan Pradhan of Pipili were nabbed on June 8.

The accused had fraudulently withdrawn Rs 5.01 crore from the bank account of the Zilla Swasthya Samiti in Sonepur on April 7 by hacking the public financial management system (PFMS) of the National Health Mission (NHM).

The chief district medical officer of Sonepur lodged a complaint with EOW after coming across the fraud.

Rajkishore had worked as an accountant on a temporary basis at NHM, Sonepur from 2016 to 2020. After joining Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training & Research (SVNIRTAR), Olatapur, he entered into a criminal conspiracy with three others and authorised hacked the portal.

After generating the e-cheque, the accused arranged duplicate stamps and seals of the chief district medical officer and additional district medical officer of Sonepur. Nayak allegedly put the forged signatures of the officers concerned on the cheque and deposited it in the bank for clearance. On April 7, the money was credited to the account of a company, named M/s Naturals.

Abinash is a relative of Rajkishore, the release added.


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