Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Rs 4.47 crore cash seized in Hyderabad ESI scam

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Hyderabad, Sep 1 : Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau has seized Rs 4.47 crore in unaccounted cash from former director of Insurance Medical Services (IMC) Devika Rani and her colleague Naga Lakshmi.

The money was seized from a real estate company in Hyderabad during investigations into the disproportionate assets case.

The anti-graft agency said the money was invested to purchase commercial and residential space in Cyberabad area here.

Devika Rani, who allegedly cheated the government of Rs 9 crore through fake medical bills, had paid Rs 3.75 crore while Naga Lakshmi, a pharmacist, paid Rs 72 lakh to buy the property.

“Both the accused officers had invested this unaccounted money towards the purchase of 6 residential flats and about 15,000 square feet of commercial space in the names of their family members,” the ACB said.

Devika Rani had also invested Rs 22 lakh in ‘benamis’. The investigators also identified another Rs 2.29 crore paid through cheques and online transfers through various sources to purchase the property. The same is in the process of seizure, an official said.

Both the accused officers were already arrested in the disproportionate assets case and they were released on bail by a court.

It was in September last year that the ACB had arrested then director Devika Rani and six others in a multi-crore scam in supply of medicines to dispensaries and hospitals under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme.

The director and other officials allegedly caused losses to the government exchequer by purchasing medicines through special medical drug dispensing units instead of ‘rate contract’ firms during 2017-18.

Devika Rani allegedly diverted several crores of rupees by purchasing drugs and surgical kits from unauthorised firms under the guise of emergency. The accused were charged with making false indents, falsifying records and violating rules in purchasing medicines.

The anti-graft agency had launched an inquiry into the scam following directions from the state government.

The Vigilance and Enforcement Wing had earlier conducted a probe into the allegations that Devika Rani did not follow the eligibility criteria in selection of firms for supply of medicines. The probe found that the medicines were brought at exorbitant prices, in violation of the procurement procedures and e-tender process.

In October, the state government had suspended Devika Rani and six other officials in connection with the scam.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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