LACCFED scam: Former MD held

The Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) of the police co-operative cell on Wednesday arrested former managing director of Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED) Braham Prakash Singh for his alleged involvement in embezzlement of government money.

Singh, against whom a non-bailable warrant was pending for four months, was arrested outside secretariat annexe in Hazratganj area in the afternoon.

Co-operative cell Director-General Suvrat Tripathi said Singh, being the MD of the department, was responsible for the scam which took place in the department, involving Rs 250 crore. He said Singh allowed withdrawals up to Rs 50 lakh by bearer cheques to facilitate embezzlement of public money.

A P Gangwar, Deputy Superintendent of the SIB, said they would produce Singh in court tomorrow. Yesterday, the SIB arrested Deepak Dave, former manager of the Punjab National Bank's Lalbagh branch, for allowing huge withdrawals by LACCFED officials by bearer cheques in violation of the rules.

Gangwar said they arrested Dave after the bank staff stated that he compelled them to clear such bearer cheques. "During investigation, it has been found that Deepak used to collect commission from LACCFED officials after a cheque was encashed," said Gangwar.

With the arrest of Singh and Dave, the SIB has arrested 10 persons, including LACCFED officials and former labour minister Badshah Singh.

Two other former ministers — Rangnath Mishra and Chandradev Ram Yadav — are absconding. Former LACCFED chairman Sushil Katiyar, whose property has been attached, is also absconding.

The arrested LACCFED offcials include ex-general manager Pankaj Tripathi, chief engineer Govind Sharan Srivastava, superintending engineer Ajay Kumar Dohre, executive engineers DK Sahu and Sanjay Kumar Vaishya, public relations officer Praveen Singh, and accountant Anil Agrawal.

The scam was unearthed in January, when it was found that Rs 12.36 crore had been withdrawn from the LACCFED account without any work done. P N Singh Yadav, LACCFED's general manager, administration and finance, lodged an FIR after it was found that the accounts section did not have details of the projects on which the money was supposed to have been spent. The money had been issued through bearer cheques in the names of 16 LACCFED engineers between October 2010 and October 2011.

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