The state criminal investigation department (CID) Tuesday arrested one more person in connection with misappropriation of Rs 312 crore at the state government-run Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Development Corporation.
CID chief Sanjay Kumar confirmed the arrest of Shravan Kisan Bawne, the former managing director of the corporation.
A CID probe had revealed that the prime accused, former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Ramesh Kadam, had allegedly committed the scam when he was chairman of the state-run corporation, which aims at providing financial assistance to the poor from backward communities.
The CID had earlier booked 18 persons, including Kadam, who was NCP MLA from Mohol in Solapur. Kadam was arrested on August 17, 2015. Later, a probe revealed that when Kadam was the chairman, the corporation distributed loans worth Rs 148 crore through various schemes to about 35,000 beneficiaries. Of this, distribution of Rs 128.26 crore was allegedly done illegally.
The CID suspects that the majority of the beneficiaries do not even know loans have been sanctioned and issued in their name. CID officials said the scamsters opened bank accounts in the name of thousands of beneficiaries without their knowledge. And then cheques pertaining to these loans were deposited in these “fictitious” bank accounts. The money was later withdrawn without the knowledge of beneficiaries.
The CID had initiated a probe following orders from the government on February 25, 2015. The CID received several complaints and accordingly six offences were registered at Dahisar, Beed, Parbhani, and Bhandara. In the Bhandara case, a probe revealed that the district manager Prahlad Pawar had withdrawn Rs 24 crore from the corporation. During interrogation, he told CID sleuths he had taken the cash in his car and distributed it.