Hyderabad Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of six more persons in connection with the Rs 64.5 crore Telugu Akademi fixed deposit fraud case.
With this, the number of arrested persons in this case rose to 10. Four accused were arrested two days ago.
Those arrested on Wednesday include the mastermind of the fraud, Chunduri Venkata Koti Sai Kumar.
The Central Crime Station (CCS) of the Detective Department made the arrests while probing three cases registered on the basis of complaints by Telugu Akademi, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and Joint Commissioner Avinash Mohanty announced the arrests at a news conference here.
The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 64.5 crore from two public sector banks.
The fraud was committed by a group of bank agents in connivance with some bank officials and an employee of Telugu Akademi.
Those arrested on Wednesday include Sagoori Ramesh, administrative officer and in-charge accounts officer at Telugu Akademi; M. Sadhana, manager of Canara Bank’s Chandanagar branch; Sai Kumar, a businessman from Hyderabad; his associates N. Venkata Raman, Venkateshwar Rao alias Dr Venkat and Somasekhar.
The police had earlier arrested Sheikh Mastan Vali, chief manager, Union Bank of India’s Karwan branch; B.V.V.N. Satyanarayana Rao, chairman and MD, AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society Ltd; Vedula Padmavathi, manager (operations), AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society, who is the sister of Satyanarayana; and Sayyad Mohiuddin, relationship manager, AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society.
Most of the accused are from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and are into real estate business. The police are probing the role of 8-9 other suspects in the case.
Investigations revealed that a total of 43 FDs were withdrawn fraudulently between December 2020 and September 2021.
The police commissioner said that 26 FDs were withdrawn from Union Bank of India’s Karwan branch, 11 from Union Bank of India’s Santosh Nagar branch and 6 from Canara Bank’s Chandanagar branch.
According to the police, Ramesh alias Ravi, an administrative officer, was the main link with the criminal gang involved.
According to the police, Sai Kumar is the mastermind of the fraud. As per his own confession, Sai Kumar was involved in three similar cases in the past.
The previous cases relate to AP Minorities Welfare Society in 2012 and AP Housing Board scam of 2015, which is pending trial. The third case relates to Northern Coal Field in Chennai.
The FDs withdrawn from the three branches of the two public sector banks were transferred with forged documents to Telugu Akademi’s account created by the accused in AP Mercantile Cooperative Credit Society. The money was then transferred to the society’s account in Agrasen Bank, Siddiamber Bazar branch.
The accused withdrew the cash from Agrasen Bank and distributed among themselves, as per their role with the biggest share going to Sai Kumar.
They used a large part of the money to give loans, acquire properties and for business dealings.
The joint commissioner of police said that some accounts were freezed and some money was recovered from the possession of the accused, but it was a very small amount, around Rs 15-17 lakh.
Mohanty said the police will seek remand of the accused to gather more information as to where they spent the money.
The police commissioner said that as per the rules, the entire liability lies with the banks to compensate the money to their owner, which in this case is the government of Telangana.