Twenty-six employees of the Srisailam Mallikarjuna temple have been arrested in relation to the cyber fraud that recently came to light, where at least Rs 1.42 crore was allegedly swindled by employees over two years. Srisailam I Town Circle Inspector Ravindra said that three of the people arrested were permanent employees, while the remaining 23 people were contractual employees.
The accused, who had been working for various banks, are believed to have been involved in fraudulent activities from 2017 to 2019, by swindling money through sale of tickets for temple darshan and other services. â€śSo far, we have recovered lakhs from the accused. They had been committing fraud through double printing of tickets, and creating fake IDs for system administrators and selling tickets through these accounts,â€ť CI Ravindra said.
While initial estimates suggested that the accused have swindled up to Rs 1.42 crore, the total amount is yet to be estimated by the committee constituted to investigate the scam, he added.
The Mallikarjuna temple in Kurnool districtâ€™s Srisailam is one of the most popular Hindu temples in Andhra Pradesh. The temple, which has remained shut for more than two months because of the lockdown, is expected to re-open for visitors from June 8, along with other temples in the state.
Earlier, 20 of the employees had been booked section 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), section 402 (assembling for purpose of committing dacoity) read with 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all) of the Indian Penal Code, and section 65 (tampering with computer source documents) and 66 (computer related offences) of IT Act. The number of accused has now gone up to 26, and four different cases have been registered against them.