Rs 60 lakh missing in scrutiny so far from 30 accounts
Srinagar: A clerical employee at the Magam post office in Budgam district pocketed money deposited by account holders, and with that money played lucky draws and bets on the internet, where he has reportedly lost much of the money. So far, only about 24 percent of the 30,000 accounts at the post office have been scrutinised, and already Rs 60 lakh are missing.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that the employee would receive payments from depositors and would give them receipt of the entire amount, but when he made entries in the computer, he would skip part of the amount.
“It was until June last year that he was involved in this practice,” sources told Kashmir Reader. “When a depositor sought to close the account and withdraw the money, it was found that there was a mismatch between the passbook entries and the amount reflected on the system. That was how the fraud came to the fore.”
This led, sources said, to scrutiny of more accounts, and the same mismatch was found in many of them. Since June last year, the post office branch has been scrutinising the accounts but still has not figured out the total amount of the fraud.
So far, about 24 percent of the accounts at the branch have been scrutinised, in which the fraud has been found in 30 accounts, of the total worth of Rs 60 lakh, sources said.
The branch has now written to all account holders, asking them to get the balance shown on their passbooks checked on the system.
“It would only be after this process that the branch would be able to calculate the loss,” sources said.
The post office is central to Budgam, catering to most of the people of the district. It has 11 sub branches working under it, sources informed.
“He was seen as the most intelligent person in the branch. He appeared to be god-fearing, led the prayers, and had memorised the Quran to a large extent. This was never expected of him,” the sources said.
Riju Ganguly, Director of Postal Services, JK, also paid a visit to the branch to investigate the matter. Ganguly told Kashmir Reader that the accounts are being scrutinised to find the quantum of the loss. Further action will take place after that, he said.
He also said that none of the accounts that were defrauded were connected to the system by the account holder’s phone number. Had it been so, the fraud could have been prevented, he said.
“At this point of time, I appeal to the people who have accounts at Magam Post Office to come forward and check their balances. I also ask them to get their phone numbers registered as well, so that they could get updates through sms about their transaction history,” Ganguly said.