The Collector said the recovered funds would be deposited in the district level agriculture account and the state government will be informed, who will later provide details to the Centre.
Quick action resulted in the identification of 40,885 bogus accounts from among the total scheme beneficiaries numbering 49,605. However, what irked the district administration was that top agriculture officials in the district passed information to the police who arrested 5 persons including a SHG president and computer centre operators. “Officials who connived with such persons would face action once the CB-CID looking into the scam completed its work in few days,” Kandasamy said.“The SHG leader from Thandarampattu was arrested for merely handing out scheme applications to potential beneficiaries.”
Officials also said that in addition to the Centre allowing farmers to directly upload completed scheme applications, failure by agriculture officials to verify applications and documents was the reason why the scam assumed huge proportions.
Works was now underway to identify the department black sheep by finding out how private computer centre operators were able to access the scheme pass word from agriculture officials. Meanwhile scam ramifications in neighbouring Vellore district was less as recovery only amounted to Rs 47.75 lakhs officials said adding that seven member teams headed by an official in the rank of an assistant collector were created for each of the five blocks to delve into the issue. There were no arrests till date.