A huge fraud has been discovered in the National Savings Scheme, in which insiders have reportedly drawn off around Rs200 million, breaching the trust of more than seven million individual savers, a local media house reported.
The incident came to light on “maturity of the 10-year saving certificate of individuals” at the Lahore branch after officials transferred more than Rs110 million to the bank accounts of their own family.
The National Saving Scheme itself is worth Rs3.6 trillion.
The report quoted Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) Human Resources Director Nadeem Iqbal who said that this is the biggest fraud in the institution and not more than three cases have been reported in the past 16 years.
Moreover, another official quoted in the report said that most of the “illegally withdrawn funds” have been recovered and the case has been transferred to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for a special audit of entire record ordered to rule out the possibility of contagious fraud.
It was further reported that “about 1,200 SC-1 forms (used for the purchase of saving certificates) of Special Saving Certificates and Regular Income Certificates were missing”.
However, during checking, a few serious irregularities regarding the computerised working were observed.
“A few other certificates were different on SC-1 forms and in the system. A few serial numbers of the Regular Income Certificates available in the system were also observed as a duplicate. When checked with the software, it was observed that it was only possible to temper such sort of record when someone had direct access to the database,” it was reported.
However, the HR official said that those even remotely connected with the issue had been sidelined and were being probed.
“A branch officer and his wife, also a government officer, were initially found to have withdrawn about Rs20 million against maturity of some accounts of unsuspecting individuals, but confirmed to have gotten away with Rs50 million by the same evening when confronted with some evidence,” he said.