Vikash Sharma

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested two persons including a cashier at the Balikuda Block office in Jagatsinghpur district and a bank employee for allegedly embezzling government funds.

The accused have been identified as Nihar Ranjan Das, a cashier at the Block Office and Sanjay Samal, an office Assistant at the Union Bank of India, Arilo Branch.

While Nihar was arrested on Monday, the EOW held Sanjay today. Both of them have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections- 420,409, 403,467,468,471,477(A) and 120 (B).

Both the accused were arrested based on a complaint filed by the Balikuda BDO, Kalyan Saurav Dash.

In the FIR, it has been alleged that that the then Branch Manager, Union Bank of India, Arilo, Jagatsinghpur had unauthorisedly debited an amount of Rs. 2,63,65,089 from the official accounts of BDO, Balikuda and misappropriated the amount.

The EOW subsequently took over the investigation of the case from the Balikuda police station.

During investigation, the EOW sleuths found that the Balikuda BDO has been officially maintaining two savings accounts with the Corporation Bank (now Union Bank of India), Arilo branch for managing funds received under the Ama Gaon Ama Bikash scheme and for Critical Gap Fund.

During an internal audit held in December, 2020, the BDO came to know that there had been unauthorised debits of Rs. 2,61,89,272 and Rs. 1,75,817 from the accounts maintained for Ama Gaon Ama Bikash funds and Critical Gap Fund, respectively.

Senior EOW officials said that Nihar Ranjan Das was working as the Cashier in the Block office and was handling the accounts during that period.

“A considerable amount out of the above mentioned public money was found to have been diverted to his (Nihar’s) personal account. Similarly, an amount of Rs. 20 lakh (approximately) had been diverted to the personal account of accused Sanjay Samal, who is an employee at the Union Bank of India (erstwhile Corporation Bank), Arilo, Jagatsignhpur branch,” the EOW said in a release.

Out of the diverted amount of Rs 20 lakhs, a major chunk had been routed through the then Branch Manager of the bank, Jugal Kishore Rout.

“The accused Branch Manager Jugal Kishore Rout subsequently committed suicide on January 1 this year after the crime to light. Further investigation in connection with the case is underway,” the release added.

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