28 Aug, 2013 12:34a.m.

LTC Scam : Alledged involvement of MPs with central government employees

Armed with some documents pointing to large-scale irregularities, the CBI will soon register cases to probe the alleged involvement of some Rajya Sabha MPs and central government employees in forging LTC claims for travel on state-run Air India.

The CVC, which has carried out a detailed preliminary investigation into the scam in various government departments, will be handing over more documents soon, they said.

The agency will register cases to probe alleged involvement of some Members of Parliament in Rajya Sabha) and central government employees, the sources said.

The incident had come to light after the vigilance department of Air India(AI) was alerted about the arrest of a man in March this year at the Kolkata airport with 600 blank boarding passes of the airline in his possession.

One of the cases to be probed is the LTC facility availed on 13 December, 2012 when seven tickets of ‘Executive Class’ were purchased for travel on the Delhi-Kolkata-Port Blair route and back.

The AI earlier in March had got a letter from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat asking the airline to conduct an inquiry into this case after it got LTC claims from seven individuals in this regard.

The inquiry, according to sources, found that the serial numbers on the boarding passes did not match the AI inventory and were fake. The cost of each ticket, which was claimed by the seven people, was stated to about Rs 1,35,610.

After this episode, Air India then scanned all LTC claims made by various ministries and departments and stumbled upon several fake claims.

The airline suspects a modus operandi in which the blank boarding passes could have been used by unauthorised agents to generate fake travel records for government employees eligible for LTC facility.

It is suspected that these agents, in connivance with the passengers, would initially book an Air India ticket to a popular holiday destination and then cancel it and get a ticket from another airline to the same destination, the sources said.

Later, the agent would generate the blank boarding pass as a substitute for the LTC scheme for the passenger to claim reimbursement from the government, thereby resulting in a loss to the exchequer, they said.

While perpetuating this fraud, the passenger saves a sizeable amount and the agent gets his commission.

Source : PTI
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