Bank Officer nabbed as Toilet Scam probe proceeds

Patna (Bihar) :The Patna police special investigation team (SIT), who are investigating the ‘multi-crore toilet construction scam’  arrested a senior official of State Bank of India from Buxar on November 9,  for his connivance with the scamsters.

The members of the SIT visited Buxar and took Shiv Shankar Jha, deputy manager of the bank, into custody. Jha has been accused of clearing cheques for Rs 10 crore from the government’s accounts to those of a Patna-based NGO, Adi Shakti Seva Sansthan, from the government’s accounts.

Jha was posted at the SBI Gandhi Maidan in Patna  when the  embezzlement took place. He now  chief manager in  SBI Buxar from where he was summoned for interrogation and subsequently arrested. Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj confirmed the first arrest from the district in the Rs 15 crore scam involving swindling of funds meant for the construction of toilets.

The officials concerned, however, instead of putting the funds in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, transferred the money to the accounts of four NGOs. On investigation it was found that  the cheques used to transfer the money to the account of Adi Shakti Seva Sansthan didn’t bear the authorised signature of the PHED executive engineer concerned.

The SIT had earlier questioned  two other employees of  SBI at the Gandhi Maidan office. This led to the arrest of Jha from Buxar, it is learnt.

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SSP Maharaaj said that a total of 13 persons, including office-bearers of the four NGOs, have been named accused in the FIR lodged with the Gandhi Maidan police station. “The number of accused will increase as the investigation progresses,” he observed.

City superintendent of police (central) D. Amarkesh has been appointed head of the SIT. On November 2 this year, the FIR was lodged by the executive engineer in the public and health department, Nityanand Prasad.

PHED’s then chief engineer Vinay Kumar Sinha and accountant Biteshwar Prasad Singh were among those named in the FIR as accused in the scam, which took place between 2012 and 2015.

The money was transferred to the accounts of four NGOs – Adi Shakti Seva Sansthan (Patna), Maa Sarveshwari Seva Sansthan (Bakhtiyarpur), Satyam Shivam Kala Kendra (Patna) and Shiv Seva Sansthan (Maner).

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