VIJAYAWADA: In a major development, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths carried out raids at different places in Hyderabad on Wednesday and took three persons into custody for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore ESI scam. The superintendent of Vijayawada ESI Hospital was also taken into custody by the ACB. Sources in the ACB told TNIE that all accused taken into custody from Hyderabad were at large for the past one year soon after the ACB started investigation into the scam.
The four accused will be produced before the Vijayawada ACB court on Thursday.The four accused were identified as former medical superintendent of Vijayawada ESI Hospital Bala Ravi Kumar (55), proprietor of Omni Medi & Omni Enterprises Kancharla Srihari Babji (51), his wife Kancharla Sujatha (45) and manager of Omni Health Care Bandi Venkateswarlu (45).
The ACB officials said that Srihari, who owns Omni Medi and Omni Enterprises — both pharmacy distribution firms — had set up a shell company Omni Healthcare and made his wife Sujatha as its proprietor. The probe revealed that all the three firms were operating from the same address in Hyderabad.
Srihari had set up another pharmacy distribution company ‘Legend Enterprises’ under his binami Krupasagar Reddy in Kukatpally.
“All the four companies are under the control of Srihari, who made circular trading among them and raised the price of the lab kits to an exorbitant rate of 50% to 400% and supplied them to ESI hospitals in AP, in collusion with Ravi Kumar, who was the then director of Insurance Medical Services (IMS). This caused a loss of around `35 crore, out `92 crore worth products supplied by Legend Enterprises and Omni Medi. ACB officials found that directors of IMS, directors of ESI hospitals, pharmacists and others committed irregularities to the tune of `975 crore in the purchase of medicines and equipment.