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IT experts probing hacking of NREGA site in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Balangir, Feb 11:

Thematic and IT experts from Bhubaneswar are investigating how the digital signature certificate (DSC) was compromised to transfer MNREGS funds from the accounts of Forest and Horticulture departments in Balangir district of Odisha to accounts in the name of fake beneficiaries using the high security nrega.nic.in website.

File Pic
File Pic

The team of IT and thematic experts examined documents and computers both at the Forest and Horticulture departments here and several offices in Patnagarh, including the SBI branch wherein bank account in the name of a fake beneficiary was opened and  money transferred, on Tuesday.

Apart from the Rs 3.27 lakh transferred from the Horticulture department and Rs 1.5 lakh transferred from the Forest department, an amount of Rs 90,000 withdrawn from the government account of Belapada BDO has come to notice today.

“We are at the second stage today and until all the stages are complete, it’s not possible to say anything. More documents are to be examined,” Sibanarayan Mohapatra, Thematic expert.

“Investigations from all angles are on,” said U S Das, Bargarh SP who is also in charge of in-charge of Balangir.

Police on Sunday detained a former computer programmer for committing financial fraud by hacking the web portal of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in Bolangir district.

Police has detained the computer programmer Dharmendra Thakur, a former contractual progarmmer at Belpada block who was sacked on corruption charges, and his aide Sujit Arawal, an employee of the Patnagarh branch of SBI on Sunday and have begun interrogation.

Dharmendra managed to open 31 fictitious bank accounts in the name of fake beneficiaries, including one Jagabandhu Sahu, using forged documents and transfer funds these accounts by hacking the NREGA website.

Despite the fraud being detected in October last year, the two departments lodged FIRs at the Balangir Town police station only a week back.

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