Sleuths of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in Hyderabad on Wednesday arrested the auditor of the AgriGold Group, Jonnavithula Durga Prasad, who had been absconding since the massive scam broke out.
According to a report in The Hindu, Durga Prasad, who was handling the finances of four companies under the Agrigold group allegedly played a key role in mobilising huge money from the depositors and duped them.
The accused is expected to be produced in a district court in Eluru on Thursday.
In May this year, CID officials arrested Avva Sitarama Rao, a key accused in the multi-crore AgriGold scam, in Gurgaon.
Sitarama Rao, the younger brother of the tainted company's chairman, Avva Venkatarama Rao, had been absconding since 2014, when news of the scam first broke out.
Last month, a court in Andhra Pradeshâ€™s Krishna District on Tuesday granted conditional bail to AgriGold chairman Avva Venkatarama Rao, along with four other directors, Avva Hemasundara Varaprasad, Nagendra Rao, Venkata Satyanarayana and Venkata Vijayabhasakar.
While media reports suggested that the bail was granted after Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials failed to file a charge sheet within the stipulated time frame, the agency denied the claim.
â€śIt is not true that bails are granted to the accused for not filing charge sheet and bails are granted only on technical grounds,â€ť the CID said in a press note.
Around 3.2 million people in many states, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, were duped by the AgriGold scam, which came to light in 2014.
AgriGold owes Rs 6,380 crore to over 32 lakh depositors in 9 states, with Andhra Pradesh leading the list with 19 lakh depositors.
The company lured several lakh customers on the promise that their investment would come back to them with higher returns. Several 'agents' were also sent out to convince people to invest in the group of companies.
The company allegedly took this money and invested heavily in real estate, before branching out to other areas as well, and finally duping the customers.
In March this year, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu distributed cheques worth Rs 5 lakh to each of the families of those who lost their lives due to the AgriGold scam.
The Chief Minister doled out a total amount of Rs 5 crore as compensation to aid the families of the victims of the multi-crore scam.