CBI Charges Three EPFO Officials For Siphoning Crores from Pension Fund: Report

The three accused allegedly stole 2.71 crore between March 2020-June 2021.

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The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on Saturday, 11 September, registered a corruption and cheating against three Employees' Provident Fund Organisation officials for allegedly stealing Rs 2.71 crore between March 2020-June 2021, according to a report by NDTV.

According to the report, the incident occurred when the pension fund organisation eased rules regarding EPF withdrawals in lights of job losses due to the COVID lockdown.

The alleged key conspirator in the case was Chandan Kumar Sinha, a senior social security assistance in the Kandivali regional EPFO office, NDTV reported, quoting CBI sources.

Along with Chandan, two assistance provident fund commissioners were also charged. These men were Uttam Tagaray and Vijay Jarpe of the Coimbatore and Chennai regional EPFO offices.

The case against the accused was registered based on a complaint from the Vigilance Department of the Employees' Provident Fund Organization after an anonymous person tipped them off about the scam.

After an internal audit check, the department realised that crores of rupees had been siphoned off the fund by manipulating the system. The accused were aware that only withdrawals above Rs 5 lakh were flagged by the departments and therefore only made claims in the range of Rs 2-3.5 lakh.

"The modus operandi of this racket involved them creating bogus PF accounts using bank account and Aadhaar collected from migrant workers and poor people for which they paid a small 'commission'. They then portrayed them as employees of companies shut down by the pandemic and withdrew the amount by filing fake claims," reported NDTV, quoting sources.

"Enquiry has revealed transactions in the salary account of Chandan Kumar Sinha reflect credits of ₹ 30,36,560 as against salary receipt of ₹ 12,90,057 during the period April 2019 to July 2021 which indicates the possibility of acquisition of assets disproportionate to income as well through unfair means."
NDTV report, quoting sources

(With inputs from NDTV)

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