HYDERABAD: The Employee State Insurance (ESI) and Insurance Medical Services (IMS) scam has come to the fore once again after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches across seven places in the homes of the accused including that of former Telangana minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy.
Apart from the main accused former IMS director Devika Rani, her husband Gurumurthy, contractor Kancharla Sriharibabu, former labour minister Naini Narasimha Reddy's personal secretary Mukunda Reddy, raids were conducted in his son-in-law Srinivasa Reddy's premises as well. Simultaneous raids commenced at the accused's homes from 6 a.m. on Saturday and ended at 5 p.m.
The central probe agency in a statement said that it has seized a "large amount of incriminating evidence, unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 3 crore, jewellery of Rs 1 crore, blank cheques, property papers and lockers etc" during searches at seven locations in Hyderabad.
This amount was recovered in Srinivasa Reddy's, former PS Mukunda Reddy, his brother-in-law Vinay Reddy and Burra Pramod Reddy, the head of seven shell Pharma companies during the raids. Of this, Rs 1.50 crore was seized from Srinivasa Reddy's house, Rs 1.15 crore from Pramod Reddy's house, Rs 45 lakh from M Vinaya Reddy's house, apart from the jewellery worth Rs 1 crore, blank checks and property documents.
ED conducted searches at 7 places in Hyderabad in the investigation large scale scam in Telangana IMS (Insurance Medical Services) ESI Department and made seizure of unaccounted cash approximately of Rs 3 Cr, a crore worth of jewelery, blank cheques, property papers, Lockers etc— ED (@dir_ed) April 10, 2021
The ACB report (8 FIRs) revealed that between Rs 100 crore and Rs 200 crore of drug purchases were effected between 2015 and 2019.
The probe is linked to alleged fraud in the IMS and ESIC departments of the state under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Devika Rani, her husband Srihari Babu alias Babji of Omni Group and several others on the basis of eight FIRs registered by the Telangana anti-corruption bureau.
They had allegedly created fake indents and bills, diverted medicines and created false records and cheated as part of the financial irregularities.
The bureau charged them on allegations of financial irregularities in the purchase and supply of medicines and surgical kits, creating huge price escalation, gross deviations from the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and government norms.
The investigation which had been slow-paced due to the corona pandemic seems to have picked up speed again with these raids. Raids are still being conducted, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.