Gujarat's Narmada District Police has filed a case against a cash management company, Writer Business Services Pvt Ltd, for alleged theft of ₹5.25 crore from the cash collection account of the Statue Of Unity (SoU).
The complaint against the company was filed on Monday, by the manager of HDFC bank, Vadodara branch, at Kevadiya police station, stating the money was siphoned off between October 2018 and March 2020, The Indian Express reported.
The Police took cognisance of the complaint and has initiated an investigation into the financial transactions of the SoU.
The HDFC bank, which has been providing services for the cash collection, had outsourced the doorstep cash collection facility of offline tickets and parking fees to the Writers Business Services. The receipts of the cash received is issued to the Statue of Unity administration and is matched with the cash deposit entries in the bank account regularly, an SoU official told the media.
While matching the entries, the auditors of SoU found discrepancies between the receipts submitted by the firm and the bank's entries. Amount of ₹5.25 crores was missing; however, the firm's receipts showed the money was given to the bank.
The bank initiated a probe after being notified about the money divergence.
A committee comprising officials of the district administration, HDFC Bank and the SoU was formed to look into the records. The committee concluded that the cash was given to the bank.
The Narmada District Collector and CEO of the statue, DA Shah, said that the HDFC Bank had employed Writer Business for the cash collection and the administration at the tourist spot had no involvement in it. He said it was purely the 'internal arrangement' and had nothing to do with the SoU administration.
"HDFC Bank is solely responsible for this transaction. So, as per agreement, the bank has credited the amount to the Statue of Unity account along with the interest, while they will resolve their dispute with their agent," Shah was quoted as saying.
Kevadiya Superintendent of Police, Vani Doodhat, said that the Police was examining the transaction slips and other records provided by the SoU and will call the staff of the firm for interrogation, after identifying the employees who handed over the money during that time.
Writer Business firm has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) over cheating, intimidation, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, according to the media reports.