ACB casts net on two municipal officials for ‘disproportionate assets’ worth Rs 500 cr?

In a recovery that is sure to raise questions on the claims

In a recovery that is sure to raise questions on the claims that corruption has been seized with the decision of demonetization, the Anti Corruption Bureau carried out raids across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana arrested two municipal officials for amassing disproportionate assets, reportedly worth Rs 500 crore. Raids were conducted simultaneously by 20 teams of the ACB officials on the properties of Director of Town and Country Planning, G V Raghu, and Junior Technical Officer in Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC), N V Sivaprasad, at Mangalagiri, Vijayawada, Gannavaram, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chittoor, and in Shirdi (Maharashtra). ACB sleuths unearthed 11 kg of gold and diamond-studded jewellery from the house of G V Raghu, who is working as director of town and country planning (DTPC), Andhra Pradesh.

According to media reports, Reddy will retire on Wednesday, and was planning to throw a grand party to his friends and relatives on the occasion of his retirement at a resort abroad and even booked flight tickets for them.

He also owns a hotel, Sai Suraj Kunj, in Shirdi and 300 acres of valuable land in Gannavaram near Vijayawada among other properties. ACB officers also found Rs 50 lakh in cash at Reddy’s residence. ACB Director General said that raids would continue on Tuesday as well.

According to sources, Sivaprasad was benami (a conduit) for Raghu and operated several real estate firms in Vijayawada.

Sivaprasad worked under Raghu when the latter was City Planner in VMC in 2002.

Interestingly, many of the assets were in the name of Sivaprasad and his wife Chintamaneni Gayatri, who too previously worked as an assistant engineer in VMC.

Several parcels of land, many residential flats and houses, a convention centre in AP and Telangana and a lodging house (in Shirdi) were among the assets discovered, sources said.

Raghu, who joined government service in 1988, served in key positions like City Planner and Chief City Planner in the top three cities in undivided AP Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad.

The real estate boom in those periods that saw the springing up of several apartment complexes, commercial buildings and malls enabled him to strike it rich through dubious deals, a top official revealed.

03 Jun 2020, 12:17 PM (GMT)

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