Among the arrested is the deputy general manager of the Karnataka State Agricultural Marketing Board, Siddalingaiah.

Two arrested for allegedly siphoning Rs 48 cr from Karnataka state agri board
news Crime Saturday, February 08, 2020 - 08:55

The Bengaluru Police have busted a major scam within a state-run board, where an official employed there and a private bank employee allegedly siphoned off Rs 48 crore in public funds. The Central Crime Branch sleuths busted the scam within the Karnataka State Agricultural Marketing Board and arrested these two men on Friday.

CCB sleuths arrested Siddagangaiah, the deputy general manager of KSAMB and Jayaram, who works as the assistant manager at Syndicate Bank’s branch in Uttarahalli. CCB sleuths said that they are looking out for four others allegedly involved in the scam including Bharath, Mustafa, Aslam and Revanna, who are absconding.

Police say that Bharat is the brother-in-law of Jayaram and the three others are middlemen in the scam, and are residents of Chennai.

Investigating officials said that three teams have been formed to nab them, while one team is in north India and another one is in Chennai.

CCB sleuths say that the scam came to light earlier in January when the managing director of KSAMB, Kari Gowda approached the Commercial Street Police and filed a complaint stating that the board had deposited Rs 100 crore in fixed deposits in Syndicate Bank and that Rs 48 crore was missing in the total amount.

Kari Gowda, in his complaint, claimed that one of the fixed deposit certificates issued by the bank was fake. The CCB later took over the case after preliminary investigation.

Investigators say that the KSAMB managing director transferred Rs 100 crore to Syndicate Bank via RTGS on November 18, 2019 in two fixed deposit accounts of Rs 50 crore each.

According to Kari Gowda’s complaint, he met Jayaram on January 20 this year regarding the money. Jayaram allegedly informed Kari Gowda that only Rs 52 crore was received by the bank. When Kari Gowda produced the fixed deposit certificates issued by the bank, the bank officials allegedly informed him that one of them was fake.

The Commercial Street Police, in their preliminary probe found that the Rs 48 crore was transferred to 60 bank accounts and most of them were in Chennai. “Since it became an inter state matter and also economic offence, CCB took over the probe,” Commercial Street Police said. CCB investigators found that the money was later transferred to other bank accounts spread across the country and was also withdrawn.

“Siddalingaiah and Jayaram were involved in issuing the fake certificate. The four others were involved in transferring the money to various bank accounts and withdrawing it. After investigation, it was found that Bharath is Jayaram’s relative and he had contacted the three others from Chennai and asked them to encash the money in the 60 accounts,” the police added.

CCB sleuths say that Siddalingaiah and Jayaram had allegedly decided to siphon off the entire amount of Rs 100 crore. “But the MD figured out the discrepancy sooner and filed the complaint,” the police added.

The police have booked the two arrested men under sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 120B (Criminal breach of trust), 34 (common intention) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.