Bureaucrats and middlemen colluded with a banker to pocket a whopping Rs 6.2 crore from a government scheme that provides subsidies to unemployed members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
An in-house inquiry carried out by the Dr BR Ambedkar Development Board unearthed the misappropriation of funds that took place between 2016 to 2018. A complaint was subsequently filed with Magadi Road police.
Kamakshi K, a district manager at the board, explained to DH how the scam unfolded. The subsidy amount was paid to the beneficiaries by cheque and RTGS fund transfer. However, Sulaksha M Padenekar, the manager of Canara Bank's Kalkere branch, colluded with Arunkumar H R, a deputy general manager at the board, seven other officials and eleven middlemen to divert the money from the bank to other accounts.
"We had sent the funds directly to the bank manager's account. But board officials and middlemen transferred the money to other accounts. This has been established in the inquiry so we filed a police complaint against them. There are nearly 150 beneficiaries who were cheated in this fraud," Kamakshi explained.
Under the self-employment/ISB scheme, up to Rs 20 lakh is given to poor members of SC/ST communities to help them buy taxicabs, start small businesses or set up other enterprises. The overall objective is to make them financially self-sufficient.
Magadi Road police inspector GP Srinivas said a case had been registered the Canara Bank branch manager, eight officials of the board and 11 middlemen under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 419 (cheating by personation) and 408 (criminal breach of trust).
"We have issued them notices to appear for the investigation and asked the board to provide all the documents about the misappropriation of funds," he said