Varanasi: Cantonment police arrested a postal department employee Sunday in connection with embezzlement of over Rs 10 crore from the accounts of depositors.
Five other persons are still on the run.
Circle officer, Cantt, Anil Kumar said the accused, Bechan Ram, was arrested from Kutchery crossing where he had gone to consult his lawyer.
At least 16 FIRs have been registered on the complaint of over 300 depositors whose money was siphoned off from their accounts over a period of time.
A special team under Cantt CO Anil Kumar is investigating the scam.
Ram informed cops he was posted as a ‘dakpal’ (clerical grade) at Cantt head post office between 2013 and 2018 when he colluded with other employees Sunil Kumar Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Ramashankar Lal, Avinash Kumar and collection agent Pradeep Kumar Singh.
They gradually evolved an arrangement whereby they made Bechan Ram’s signatures mandatory for clearance of withdrawals in over Rs 5,000 category. By getting his signatures on forged documents, they started embezzling money from the accounts of about 700 depositors, including the employees of postal department.
Depositors did not know about the embezzlement for years.
The Cantt CO said most of the FIRs were lodged in this connection in August and September. Following initial investigations, raids were conducted at the possible hideouts of the accused persons in Chandauli, Azamgarh, Jaunpur and other districts of Bihar but no arrest could be made.
“After Bechan Ram’s arrest, we have intensified efforts to his accomplices,” he added.
Irregularities started surfacing on August 27 after a few depositors detected withdrawals from their accounts without their knowledge.
The postal department suspended four employees Sunil Kumar Yadav, Vinay Kumar Yadav, Rajesh Kumar and Ramshankar Lal Kumar and lodged four FIRs against an agent PK Singh.
Verification of savings, recurring, PPF and other accounts revealed that the embezzled amount was over Rs 10 crore. All the complaints were clubbed by police as most of them were similar in nature.
Postmaster general, Varanasi circle, Pranav Kumar said verification of accounts of all complainants would be made.