Vijayawada: In what will surely come as an embarrassment to the Andhra Pradesh government, fraudsters posing as officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) duped several government officials across the state. They blackmailed 13 government employees and collected Rs. 28.5 lakh, said the joint director of ACB (Rayalaseema region), R. Gangadhar Rao.

The ACB said that the fact that the victims, who are in higher positions in various government departments, paid money to the fake ACB personnel, indicates that they were clearly corrupt and had accepted bribes for official favours.

Following the recent arrest of a fake ACB official in Kurnool district, 13 ACB teams, on 8 September, conducted raids in some government offices in Vizag, Srikakulam, Eluru, Vijayawada, Ongole, Nellore, Tirupati, and Kadapa where the employees had been duped. During the raids, the ACB officials observed several irregularities in the government offices such as no attendance registers and lack of latest data on the inspections of the officials.

Interestingly, the government officials paid money to the fake ACB personnel by depositing it in cash deposit machines of various banks. The ACB officials have collected evidence of the cash transactions.

The illegal activities of the fake ACB personnel came to light when some government officials who had received threats alerted the real ACB sleuths.

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