Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Telangana Minister Gangula Kamalakar and TRS MP Vaddiraju Ravichandra in connection with a case pertaining to the arrest of fake CBI officer Kovvi Srinivas Rao.
The CBI officers on Wednesday served notices to the two leaders asking them to appear before the central agency in Delhi on Thursday.
Srinivas Rao was arrested from the Tamil Nadu Bhawan in Delhi two days ago.
The CBI officials visited Civil Supplies Minister Kamalakar’s residence in Karimnagar and as he was not available, they handed over the notice to his family members. A similar notice was served to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Rajya Sabha member Ravichandra.
Both the Minister and MP are likely to be questioned about their links with Srinivas Rao, who was cheating people by posing as joint director of the CBI.
Srinivas, who hails from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, has been promising to help those facing probe by the central agencies. Claiming to have influence in political corridors and bureaucracy in the southern states, he was striking deals worth crores of rupees.
The CBI is believed to be investigating if Kamalakar and Ravichandra had allegedly approached Srinivas to help them through his contacts in the case relating to irregularities in granite companies.
Officials of the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate on November 9 and 10 had conducted joint searches at the offices and residence of owners of granite firms including those allegedly linked to the Minister and the MP.
The searches were carried out after allegations of tax evasion and FEMA violations against granite businessmen.
The ED had said later that it found that some granite companies in Telangana, including those associated with a state minister, had links with Chinese entities owned by Li Wenhuo, whose name appeared in Panama leaks.
The central agency said the search action led to detection of money being routed back from Chinese entities into the Indian entities in the form of hand loans without documents.
During the search action, the ED search teams found and seized unaccounted cash of Rs 1.08 crore, allegedly received in Hawala against exports and also seized voluminous granite dispatch data of 10 years from the quarries.
The searches were conducted searches at offices and residential premise of Swetha Granites, Swetha Agencies, Sri Venkateshwara Granites Private Limited, PSR Granites Private Limited, Arvind Granites, Giriraj Shipping Agencies Private Limited and their related entities in Karimnagar and Hyderabad on November 9 and 10.
On Monday, the CBI arrested Srinivas Rao from Tamil Nadu Bhawan for allegedly impersonating as an IPS official and claiming to be Joint Director of the CBI.
“Rao was lobbying to obtain ‘No Entry Permit’ (permission for vehicles to ply during ‘No Entry’ restriction timings in Delhi) from Delhi Police for 2000 vehicles of the company ‘Porter’. He was duping common people and was asking for personal favours,” an official had said.
The CBI had recently got a tip-off that the accused had been impersonating as an IPS Officer and Joint Director of CBI. He was demanding bribes from unknown private persons for lobbying with public servants for getting favourable response in matters which included the cases registered by different central investigative agencies.
“He met a number of people and offered favourable outcomes in various matters pending before Government authorities. Rao demanded expensive gifts from them by claiming that the gifts needed to be further handed over to senior government officers,” the official said.
Rao visited New Delhi on November 22 and arranged stay at Madhyanchal Bhawan and Tamil Nadu Bhawan. He was meeting various private persons and public servants.
Posing as a senior CBI officer, Rao told one Vinay Handa that he was looking after officers’ cadres of the CBI and that he will help his younger son get a job.
A case under sections 419 and 420 of the IPC was lodged against him.
The CBI laid a trap at Tamil Nadu Bhawan and held him.