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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Hyderabad: Six more arrested in Telugu Akademi FDR fraud case

The Telugu Akademi is a state-run institution that was created in 1968 to promote Telugu language.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad |
October 6, 2021 10:11:21 pm
Commissioner Anjani Kumar told media persons that a sum of Rs 64.5 crore has been fraudulently withdrawn from 43 fixed deposits between December 2020 and September 2021. (File photo)

Hyderabad Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of six more accused in the Telugu Akademi funds misappropriation case. With this, the total number of arrests in the case has risen to 10. Commissioner Anjani Kumar told media persons that a sum of Rs 64.5 crore has been fraudulently withdrawn from 43 fixed deposits between December 2020 and September 2021. The police will file for custody of the accused for further investigations, he said.

Those arrested have been identified as Segoori Ramesh, administrative officer and in-charge of the accounts section at the Telugu Akademi, M Sadhana, manager of Chandanagar branch of the Canara Bank, a fake doctor known as Dr Venkat and real estate agents, Chunduri Venkata Koti Sai Kumar, Nanduri Venkata Raman and Somashekar alias Raj Kumar.

Police had earlier arrested Shaik Mastan Vali, who worked as the chief manager of the Karwan branch of the Union Bank of India, Satyanarayana, MD of AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd, V Padmavathi, manager (operations) at AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd, and Syed Moinuddin, relationship manager at the AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd.

According to the police commissioner, Somashekar alias Raj Kumar masterminded the fraud and was previously involved in three similar frauds. Raj Kumar is the key accused in the fraudulent withdrawal of fixed deposits belonging to the AP Minority Welfare Society, the AP Housing Board Scam of nearly Rs 6 Crore, and Rs 25 crore Northern Coalfields FDR fraud in Chennai.

Police have found that a fake account of the Telugu Akademi was created in the AP Mercantile Co-operative Society in connivance with MD Satyanarayana using fake ID proofs, while Somashekar posed as the director of the Telugu Akademi.

Explaining the modus operandi of the criminals, police said that Telugu Akademi Accounts Officer Ramesh informed Sai Kumar whenever the Akademi needed to create an FD. Thereafter, Venkat or Somashekar would collect the cheque and a request letter for opening the FD with the bank. However, they created fake request letters for banks and, in turn, submitted fake FD receipts to the Telugu Akademi. Bank managers, Mastan Vali and M Sadhana, shared with the accused the Unique Transaction Reference (UTR) numbers which were printed on fake fixed deposit receipts (FDRs). Again, fake FDRs were created for the withdrawal of FD amounts from the banks concerned and the withdrawals were done in favour of the AP Mercantile Co-operative Credit Society.

Joint Commissioner (Detective Department) Avinash Mohanty said that the money was transferred into the account of the AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd at the Siddiamber Bazar branch of the Agrasen Bank. The accused had taken a membership in the AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd in the name of the Telugu Akademi. Claiming to be employees of the Telugu Akademi, the accused withdrew the cash under the pretext of some construction works over several months and invested the same to procure assets.

The Detective Department of the Central Crime Station had started an investigation after receiving three different complaints from the Union Bank of India, the Telugu Akademi, and the Canara Bank alleging illegal or fraudulent withdrawal of fixed deposits. The Union Bank of India alleged fraudulent withdrawal of FDs amounting to Rs 54 crore on September 27, the Telugu Akademi alleged misappropriation of Rs 43 crore on the same day, and the Canara Bank’s Chandanagar branch manager also alleged illegal withdrawal of Rs 10 crore on September 30. Of the 43 fixed deposits illegally withdrawn, 26 instances were reported by the Karwan branch of the Union Bank of India, 11 by Santosh Nagar branch of the Union Bank of India, and six by the Chandanagar branch of the Canara Bank, Kumar said. The FDs were withdrawn from Agrasen Bank’s Siddiamber Bazar branch, police said.

Notably, the Telugu Akademi is a state-run institution that was created in 1968 to promote Telugu language. Former prime minister late PV Narasimha Rao was the chairperson of the Telugu Akademi between 1968 and 1974.

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