The financial fraud unearthed last week involving officials of the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) depot in Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad, is turning out to be larger in scale than was initially thought to be. Realizing this, the Wayanad police have decided to officially hand over the further probe to the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau (VACB). Initial investigation by the police, which delved into depot’s operations in the last two months, had found that the KSRTC employees have swindled over Rs 11 lakh by entering lower amounts of daily bus collections in the system.
Cops believe the money siphoned off could be to the tune of Rs 35 lakh and have registered cases against E Shajahan, senior assistant at the depot, and nine bus conductors. Shajahan is considered to be the kingpin of the fraud. Cops have already handed over the case file to vigilance officials.
According to Justin Abraham, CI of Sulthan Bathery, Shajahan, who was handling the cash collection in the depot, manipulated the daily fare collections entered in the computer system. This was often done after he transfers the ticketing data from the electronic ticketing machines given by the bus conductors to the master computer through infrared. In the process, he is alleged to have swindled thousands of rupees. Money was siphoned from the collections made from inter-state bus services to Bangalore and Coimbatore and long-distance routes like the Sulthan Bathery-Thiruvananthapuram service.
Cops say the culprits also tampered with the fare chart in the master computer, making it impossible to transfer data from ticketing machines to the computer. This helped them manually enter lower amounts of collection.
An investigation by the KSRTC main office in Thiruvananthapuram has revealed huge losses to the daily collection in long-distance services from the depot. It has suspended the senior assistant and four conductors from service and terminated the services of five empaneled conductors. A departmental probe is on to ascertain the extent of the fraud, which it is doubted has been going on for the last several years.
News: Times Of India