ACB arrests 3 for embezzlement of Delhi Jal Board funds 

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) awarded the work of “setting up of automotive bill payment collection machines at different locations in different DJB offices” to the Corporation Bank in the year 2019.

New Delhi | Updated: 14 February, 2023 11:29 am IST

Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) on Monday arrested three persons including the owner and directors of Aurrum e-payment and Freshpay IT solutions for allegedly being involved in the embezzlement of Rs 20 crore in the funds of Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

The accused are identified as Rajendran Nair, 56, director and owner of Aurrum e-payment, Gopi Kumar Kedia, 52, CFO and authorised signatory of Aurrum e-payment and Dr. Abhilash Vasukuttan Pillai, director of Freshpay IT solution.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) awarded the work of “setting up of automotive bill payment collection machines at different locations in different DJB offices” to the Corporation Bank in the year 2019.

Corporation Bank further gave this contract to Fresh pay IT Solutions who further gave it to Aurrum e-payment Pvt Ltd for the collection of bills through various modes of transactions.

The ACB officials said the contract was up to October 2019, however, Aurrum e-payments Pvt. Ltd collected the amount till March 2020.

Joint Commissioner of Police (ACB) Madhur Verma said the preliminary inquiry was conducted by the Vigilance Department of DJB which revealed embezzlement of DJB funds amounting to Rs. 20 crores by private persons in connivance with Corporation Bank ( now Union bank of India) and DJB officials.

A case under section 13 (1) (c) (d)/13 (2) of POC (prevention of corruption act) 1988 r/w 409/420/120 B IPC, was registered in November 2022 and an investigation was taken up.

The Aurrum e Payment collected the amount from various kiosks in Delhi and brought it to its Connaught Place office. Thereafter, they embezzled the amount from cash collected and deposited the rest in their account with a Federal bank.

Then they transferred the money to DJB through RTGS at their convenience. It was also revealed that the alleged company did not transfer the complete amount to the account of DJB. Reconciliation was also not conducted regularly by DJB.

During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the amount collected from Kiosks of Delhi Jal Board was transferred from the Federal bank of Aurrum e – payment to 4-5 sister concerns of Raju Nair, his relatives, and many more. They made payments like rent, the salary of employees of Aurrum e – Payment and Fresh pay IT Solution, and other expenses of companies from this very account of Federal Bank out of the cash collected from DJB Kiosk.

According to Verma, as per the contract, there must be regular reconciliation. However, none of the parties – DJB, then Corporation Bank (now Union Bank of India), Freshpay IT Solutions, and Aurrum e-payment reconciled the collected amount. Even after it has been observed by DJB that there was a pending amount on part of the vendor which is to be deposited in the account of DJB. the contract was renewed from time to time which eventually led to a loss of Rs 20 crore to the board.

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