.........CUTTACK: Sadar Police on Thursday arrested Narayan Das, Branch Postmaster (BPO) of Jharakata Post Office on charges of embezzling more than Rs 1 crore of several depositors.
The 48-year-old accused had been absconding since an FIR was filed by Pitabas Jena, Assistant Superintendent of Post, East Zone, Cuttack on November 9. Das was nabbed from an undisclosed location.
According to reports, Das took advantage of the panic among people after the chit fund scam which deprived people of their hard-earned money and diverted their savings to post offices.
The branch post office was running from the house of Das at Jharkata under Bayalis Mouza. Though passbooks of depositors were updated and receipts given to them against their deposit, the amount was not entered in the post office records.
The massive misappropriation came to fore on October 24 last year when Ratindra Jena, a depositor found only Rs 833 in his savings account whereas he had deposited Rs 1.29 lakh in several phases. He brought the matter to the notice of higher authorities following which an FIR was filed with Cuttack Sadar police.
Police said the postmaster had not maintained any record regarding the deposits and had swindled the amount. He had withdrawn money from several accounts by forging withdrawal forms and deposited Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in some accounts after demonetisation in 2016 only to withdraw it later in new currency notes.
The Postal department had confirmed police about swindling of more than Rs 3 lakhs after verifying only 12 accounts. At present, there are more than 3000 accounts and some of them are suspected to be fake, police said.