The Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Thursday arrested four persons, including a software company owner, for fraudulently withdrawing Rs 55.47 crore belonging to the AP State Minorities Finance Corporation.
The accused withdrew the corporation’s fixed deposits by issuing 240 cheques by opening a fake current account at Vijaya Bank in the name of the State Minorities Finance Corporation and issuing cheques in the name of 16 fictitious firms .
The accused are Chunduri Venkata Koti Saikumar, a forty-year-old postgraduate who ran a software company Swal Computers, N Venkat Raman, B Keshav Rao and Naveen Sagar. The CID took up investigation following a complaint from M Dana Kishore, secretary in the Department of Minorities Welfare.
The mastermind of the scam was Chunduri Venkata Koti Saikumar, who once had ambitions of launching a TV channel called ABC TV. According to additional DGP (CID) SV Ramana Murthy, the scam tumbled during an examination of the money flow chart by the corporation. It was revealed that Saikumar hatched a plan to siphon off the fixed deposits of the AP State Minorities Finance Corporation. In this, he joined hands with Nanduri Venkata Raman, a resident of Kondapur.
Saikumar and Venkata Raman then approached Kesava Rao, a resident of Kamalanagar, near ECIL, a middleman who solicited FDs for banks from government and private organisations. The duo requested him to arrange some FDs for Vijaya Bank from the AP State Minorities Finance Corporation. They promised to pay him a commission of 1 per cent of the each deposit scammed. Accordingly, Kesava Rao arranged one FD for Rs 10 crore for the Koti branch of Vijaya Bank. Saikumar and Venkata Raman then took the help of Naveen Sagar, an assistant manager of Vijaya Bank in Raichur, Karnataka, who had earlier worked in Hyderabad , to open a current account in the Koti branch on the basis of forged documents. They opened the fictitious account in the name of AP State Minorities Finance Corporation. For rendering his help, Naveen Sagar was paid Rs 10 lakh. After opening the current account, Venkata Raman floated 15 fictitious firms and opened bank accounts with different banks in Hyderabad. Saikumar and Venkata Raman managed to procure more FDs to the tune of Rs 68 crore in addition to the one of Rs 10 crore from the corporation.
‘’They also prepared fake FD receipts in place of the original FDRs and handed them over in the corporation as if they were genuine. The FDRs, which were in the custody of APSMFC, were found to be fake and only upon the receipt of bank statements submitted by Vijaya Bank to the managing director of APSMFC did the entire scam come to light,’’ Ramana Murthy said. Following this, CID teams conducted simultaneous searches at the houses of Saikumar and Venkata Raman, the Koti branch of Vijaya Bank and the offices of the AP State Minorities Finance Corporation, and seized several documents and records. ‘’Sai Kumar confessed that an amount of Rs 8 crore was paid to launch a new TV channel in the name of ABC TV towards which he had entered into an MoU with one Bhavanarayana and others who were earlier working with various channels,’’ the CID chief said, adding that the investigation was going on and several teams were formed to trace the misappropriated money which was meant for the scholarships to poor people.