Two town planning officials in ACB net

In a huge catch, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) conducted simultaneous raids on the properties of Director, Town and Country Planning, Golla Venkata Raghu, and Junior Technical Officer (JTO, Engg. Section), Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC), Nalluri Venkata Shivaprasad, on Monday.

The Central Investigation Unit (CIU) of the ACB conducted searches at 23 places and found nearly 10 kg gold ornaments, 15 acres, 26 house sites and an equal number of houses, one lodge at Shirdi, 26 flats and other documents belonging to the two.

As per preliminary estimates, the market value of the properties may cross ₹100 crore. Both the officers were booked under the Disproportionate Assets (DA) cases. Interestingly, they amassed the entire property within the past three to four years, as per the officials.

Raids in three States

Raids were conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. Searches were also conducted on the houses of the kin and well-wishers of the two officers in Krishna, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Chittoor, East Godavari and Hyderabad, said ACB Director General R.P. Thakur at a press conference held here on Monday.

Raghu started his career as Assistant Director in 1988. He was promoted as Deputy Director in 1996, Joint Director in 2004 and as Director in 2015. He served in different cadres in Nellore, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram, Vijayawada and Hyderabad. He was currently posted in Guntur.

“The ACB officials seized two house sites registered in the name of the director at Gannavaram and Mangalagiri. One house site and 2.06 acres of agriculture land registered in his wife, G. Kalpa Latha name were identified at Gannavaram and Velpuru village in Krishna district respectively. Besides, two house sites were identified in the names of his daughter, G. Sravanthi and mother-in-law B. Kalavathamma,” Mr. Thakur said.

One duplex house and one lodge were identified at Shirdi besides ₹9 lakh and other household articles, all worth about ₹4.6 crore (at Sub-Registrar value).

JTO’s assets

The searches revealed 21 house sites registered in the name of Shivaprasad’s wife Chintamaneni Gayatri, two apartments at Gannavaram, three houses in Vijayawada, 11.65 acres in Krishna, East Godavari and Guntur districts.

About ₹43 lakh, seven kg gold and diamond jewellery and documents related to five companies floated by the accused officers were found. The property was estimated at more than ₹12 crore (registration value).

“The two officers and Gayatri worked together in Krishna district. Gayatri took voluntary retirement in 2015 and later they transferred all the firms in her name. Bills related to jewellery purchases and many documents of Raghu were seized at Shivaprasad’s house. This is a different modus operandi of all the cases we booked so far,” the DG said and added that the raids were continuing.

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