The Telangana CID is in a fix. A sub-inspector who was caught over allegations of money laundering turned out to be a minnow who has now named the big fish in the state’s police force who are involved in the racket.
In a perplexing twist to the money laundering case against Assistant Sub-Inspector, B Mohan Reddy, the tainted officer has named many top police officials in his “confession”. After being questioned by the CID for four days, Mohan revealed the names of 10 police officers, one politician and has indicated that there were more names that he would soon "recollect".
While being employed with the state police, Mohan began a money-lending business, in which many top officers of the Telangana cadre invested. The lending rate was 4% and he is alleged to have used force if borrowers could not repay the amount.
The case first came to light in the last week of October, when a 53-year-old businessman and chairman of a private school committed suicide at his residence in Karimnagar. In his suicide note, he alleged that he had taken a loan from three people including a police officer, and the financiers allegedly threatened him with dire consequences if he was unable to return the money.
Mohan was immediately suspended and on November 2, the case was transferred to the CID. Following this, the magistrate of a Karimnagar court remanded Mohan in the CID’s custody from November 6 to 9. It was his confession to the CID during this time that has revealed the full details of the case. Mohan had allegedly made hundreds of crores of rupees and even acquired assets of borrowers worth over Rs. 200 crore while circulating huge sums of money arranged by other police officers. Doctors, lawyers and advocates also reportedly invested in his business.
His confession (A copy of which is with TNM) provides details of his operations. It says, "when the lands in Karimnagar - rural, town and outskirts were high in rate during a real estate (boom), I used my influence and was posted to the rural PS Karimnagar in the year 2002. During my tenure as rural PS Karimnagar, I did full time real estate work/business by setting aside my regular duties and managing the (funds of) Inspector, SI and superior officers." He goes on to add that he "earned more money through real estate business" during the period than through his job as a police officer, until the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) caught up with him.
In 2006, Mohan was detained by the ACB for possessing 'disproportionate assets' and was suspended. However, the suspension was revoked in September 2008. The confession goes on to say that officers who "are working/worked in the police department at Karimnagar and other places," used to give Mohan large sums of money and Mohan would return it to them with a 2% interest. He would make a profit by lending the money he received at 4%.
He has named the following officers listing the amount of money each of them gave him:
1. Janardhan Reddy, Addl SP (Admin), Karimnagar, (Rs 90 lakh)
2. Rangaraju Bhasker Rao, presently working in Hyderabad (Rs 10 lakh)
3. Buchhi Ramulu, SIB intelligence, Karimnagar (Rs 20 lakh)
4. Sai Manohar, DSP previously worked as CI in Karimnagar (Rs 35 lakh)
5. R Prakash, CI, CID, Karimnagar (Rs 20 lakh)
6. Shankar Singh, HC, I town Karimnagar (Rs 10 lakh)
7. Ch Mallaiah, Inspector vigilance, electricity, Karimnagar (Rs 20 lakh)
Mohan also names two DSPs and a circle inspector who supported him "departmentally and judicially," and goes on to add that he had arranged a Rs.3 crore loan, through a businessman, to present to TRS MLA of Peddapalli, Manohar Reddy, before the 2014 Assembly elections.
A report in The Hindu says:
District police officials, unwilling to be quoted, say that Mohan Reddy, who had been working in the police department for the past 20 years, knew how to protect the ‘big fish’ (other police officials) involved in his illegal finance business.
District SP D Joel Davis told The New Indian Express that based on the confession, they would issue probe orders against the police officers named. He said they would take departmental action against them.