Chittagong, Jan 08 – After a substantial amount of ticket sales money went missing from the secure cash box of a running train on the Noakhali-Laksam route, a 4-member probe body was formed by the East Zone management of Bangladesh Railways to investigate the incident.
Some Tk 92,000, collected from ticket sales through three stations (out of nine on the route), was lost on December 29 from the cash box, despite a lock with two-tier security. But some money bags and receipts against ticket sales remained in the box, which was in the custody of the guard of the moving train (train operator).
It is an unprecedented incident in the country’s railway history, said rail officials.
The incident occurred on the ‘Samotot Express’ and came to light at Laksam Station when the cash box was submitted in the custody of train guard Shamsul Alam, railways sources said.
The money was the total earned from the sale of tickets of Dhaka-bound ‘Noakhali Express’ in three stations — Maijdee, Maijdee Court and Natherpatua on the Dhaka-Noakhali route.
The Chattogram Cash Office found the discrepancy while counting the ticket sales money. On the same day, the East-Zone management of Bangladesh Railways formed the probe body over the incident.
Train guard Shamsul Alam claimed that he handed over the cash box (No-169) intact to the Master of Laksam Station Shahabuddin.
But Shahabuddin claimed that while handing him the box, Shamsul Alam informed him that a sealing paper wrapped over the box remained torn, and then Shahabuddin applied another protection seal on the box.
Although it is mandatory to keep a member of the security forces watching over the box, there was no security man on the train.
The box (169) was supposed to contain the ticket sales money from 9 railway stations, but money from three of the stations was missing.
Railway officials believe the incident occurred due to negligence on the part of both the member of security force and the guard. There is no scope for money to go missing from the box without being stolen.
General Manager, East Zone, of Bangladesh Railways Jahangir Hossain said whoever is responsible “will have to give the money,” i.e. reimburse the amount.
Its Chattogram Division Commercial Officer (DCO) Ansar Ali said action will be taken against anyone found to have been negligent in the investigation. – UNB