Vijayawada: In the case of the alleged multi-crore ESI scam, Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday arrested Hyderabad-based computer shop owner for supplying biometric devices by submitting fake quotation, in collusion with the then director of the Insurance Medical Services (IMS) which implemented the ESI scheme.

According to the ACB, when K Atchanaidu was the then AP Labour Minister, there were several irregularities in the purchase of medicines, surgical equipment, and furniture for the four Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) hospitals, three ESI Diagnostic Centers and 78 ESI Dispensaries across the state. After coming to power, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had ordered an investigation into the alleged corrupt deals.

The 17th accused in the case, Thunuguntla Dinesh Kumar, 30, Director of Prodigy Computers and Laptops Pvt. Ltd in Hyderabad, was arrested in Vijayawada on Friday.

Investigation by the ACB sleuths revealed that the accused, Dinesh, in 2017, submitted a quotation for the supply of biometric devices, along with four other fake quotations colluding with the then Director of IMS, Dr CK Ramesh who is accused number 1 in the ESI scam.

Prodigy Computers & Laptops Pvt. Ltd supplied 100 biometric devices for all the ESI dispensaries in AP on nomination basis at an exorbitant rate.

Dr G Vijay Kumar (accused officer-2) who succeeded Dr CK Ramesh Kumar (AO-1) and colluded with A-17 without following the instructions from the government, paid the bill of Rs 73.65 lakhs on 18 December, 2017 to A-17 which caused the loss of about Rs 53.67 lakhs to the government exchequer.

Dinesh was produced before a Court of Special Judge for SPE & ACB Cases, Vijayawada and the Judge remanded the accused to judicial custody till October 29. The accused was sent to sub jail, Machilipatnam.

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