New Delhi: Ailing Air India has stumbled upon another case of fraud involving crores of rupees in a scheme meant for family members of the employees of the state-run airline.
The case has been referred to CBI after a discreet probe launched by the Vigilance department of the public carrier unearthed a scam in its Family Fare Scheme (FFS) in which the cash-strapped airline was defrauded, sources said on Friday.
The AI has asked the CBI to take up a probe as “the case has all India ramifications with possible loss caused to the government and AI with possible involvement of other governmental and non-governmental agencies.”
The Vigilance probe also found that a mandatory rule of mentioning that ‘all family members travel together’ was not found printed in a number of tickets issued under FSS which has to be mandatorily stamped so that the scheme is not misused.
Sources said the alleged fraudsters, which AI suspects could also involve its staff, separated the passenger and AI redemption coupons by writing two different fares aimed at claiming more money from the airline.
The flag carrier has asked the CBI to take up the case as it suspects the scam has pan-India ramifications with many more such travel agents and the fraud estimates could be as high as Rs 15-20 crore over a period of time.
The preliminary in-house enquiry conducted by the Vigilance department found out that the fraud was largely carried out on the Chennai-Port Blair and Kolkata-Port Blair sector and this caused a loss of Rs 2.70 crore to the AI but the overall loss to the exchequer was over Rs six crore.
The Vigilance department of the airline had detected a similar fraud in the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) scheme and the CBI is currently probing the case.