The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday said it has attached assets worth Rs 144 crore in connection with its money laundering probe into the alleged insurance medical scheme scam in Telangana. The agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach 131 immovable assets. These include 97 plots, six villas, 18 commercial shops, six agricultural lands and four flats in Hyderabad and some other locations in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bengaluru and Noida.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also attached movable assets in the form of securities and fixed deposits. It said in a statement that the total value of these properties is Rs 144.4 crore and they have been acquired by the accused.
The money laundering case was filed by the ED after studying eight FIRs registered by the Telangana anti-corruption bureau (ACB) against insurance medical scheme (IMS) officials and private persons, including medicines suppliers for "violations in tendering process, misappropriation of government funds and causing loss to the state exchequer to the tune of more than Rs 211 crore."
It said the then IMS director Dr Devika Rani in collusion with the joint director and other staff of IMS "blatantly violated all norms of government orders and all prudent office procedures and issued purchase orders to firms mostly belonging to supplier K Srihari Babu and also benami firms set up by Dr Rani, P Rajeshwar Reddy etc."
"Medical items were purchased at grossly inflated prices. Indents of dispensaries were fabricated and stock registers were fabricated to siphon off the medicines â€¦ Joint director Dr K Padma was found to be siphoning off medicines and supplies in the name of medical camps," the ED alleged. Patented products, it said in the statement, were sold in a cyclical manner and ultimately purchased by IMS at four to five times their normal market rate.
"Dr Rani, pharmacist Nagalaxmi and their families in order to layer and conceal the bribe money, entered into a conspiracy with PMJ Jewellers and over a period of one year, regularly channelled their bribe money and purchased jewellery worth about Rs 6.28 crore from the proceeds of crime," the agency said. The ED claimed its probe found that Rani, Nagalaxmi and their families gave "large cash advances" to purchase prime real estate.
"Cash was also deposited in their bank accounts at regular intervals and once layered, the same was used to buy immovable properties," the ED said.