Hyderabad: Extensive investigation into the multi-Crore  ESI scam by the  Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau, led them to another big catch. The sleuths seized Rs 4.4 crore cash allegedly belonging to former director of Insurance Medical Association (IMA)  Ms Devika Rani and her benamis.

Following searches, the investigating agency on 1st September confiscated Rs 4.4 Crore cash from a realtor in Hyderabad. According to the sleuths, Ms Rani, a government servant (suspended)  with an intent to purchase 6 residential flats and about  15,000 square feet commercial space in the western corridor of Hyderabad, paid an advance of  Rs 3.75 Crore to a realtor and Rs 22 lakhs on benamidar’s name. Another accused officer Ms Naga lakshmi, pharmacist (suspended) at the ESI, paid Rs 72 lakhs.  Further, another Rs 2.29 crore was paid through cheque and online transfer through various sources”.

 

 

To recall, several government officials including three doctors serving in the Insurance Medical Services (IMS), were arrested in a alleged multi-crore scam. They include Director of IMS , Dr Ch Devika Rani, joint director, Dr Padma, assistant director (store) K. Vasantha Indira, Shamshabad ESI dispensary pharmacist grade-II M. Radhika. Others include senior assistant V. Harshavardhan, Omni Medi managing director K. Srihari Babu, and company representative Ch Siva Nagaraju.

Ch Devika Rani is accused of colluding with officials, they prepared fake invoices, bills/ records of purchase of medicines and other medical equipment and cheated the government exchequer to the tune of Rs  11.69 crore.Several pharmacy company directors were arrested for involvement in the scam.

The scam broke recently after a vigilance inquiry into purchases made by IMS for ESI hospitals in the state, found medicines which were not needed, purchased to favour a few firms and medicines regularly used were purchased at relatively high prices. Inquiries revealed that all such firms that supplied medicines to ESI in this manner were owned by close family members of Devika Rani and her benami persons.

The State Government then ordered the ACB to investigate the inquiry findings. ACB registered a case and started an inquiry. After two months of inquiry, ACB sleuths went into action.

Though the vigilance report suggested Devika Rani and other accused had siphoned around Rs 300 Crores, initial inquiries made by ACB found the loss was around Rs 10 Crores. Months later, on 1st of September another 4.4 crore cash was seized by the ACB

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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