The Economic Offences Wing of Odisha's Crime Investigation Department arrested a seller of paddy transplanting machines for duping the government treasury of nearly ₹ 3.5 cr. He falsely claimed to have sold the mechanised machines to the farmers and embezzled the subsidy meant for them. The EOQ officials arrested Kamaljeet Singh(23) from Balgarh, but his brother Harpal Singh(27) is still absconding, reported Hindustan Times.
They duo used to upload false engine numbers and pictures of paddy planters and add fake beneficiaries to falsely pocket the subsidy from the Odisha government's agriculture department.
Forgery Of Documents
The accused had allegedly represented themselves as executives of Redlands Ashlyn Motors PLC, a Kerala-based company while committing the fraud. They had managed to forge the company's documents to obtain a registration number from Odisha Agriculture Department. Without verifying the documents, the government had released subsidy amounts ranging between ₹ 1 lakh and ₹ 1.5 lakh to 278 farmers.
Deputy Inspector General of the wing JN Pankaj told the newspaper, "Between 2018 and 2020, the duo used to make gullible farmers pose with paddy transplanters and take away the subsidy amount ranging between ₹1 and 1.5 lakh, was credited to the beneficiary farmers' account, after giving them anything between ₹3,000 and 5,000. The total subsidy tricked in this manner amounted to ₹3.49 crore".
When the government realized this, they blocked-listed Redlands Ashlyn Motors PLC. The blocklisting caught the Kerala-based company by surprise and they complained with the EOW in April this year.
BJD MLA Accused Of Swindling Funds
In March this year, Sudhanshu Sekhar Parida, a BJD MLA, was accused of swindling crores of rupees meant to subsidise farm equipment purchase by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries. In a complaint filed by social activist and Balasore resident Tanmaya Mohanty, it was alleged that ₹ 9 crore in subsidy funds were siphoned off between 2017 and 2020 by Nigamananda Associates, a firm owned by Parida which sells agricultural equipment.