Vijayavada: Rs 8.5 crore assets seized from R&B engineer

Vijayavada: The ACB unearthed the huge disproportionate assets amassed by engineer-in-chief of the AP Roads and Buildings Department (R&B) M. Gangadharam on Saturday.

Twenty teams raided the properties belonging to Gangadharam at 10 different locations. Officials said they found disproportionate assets worth `8.5-crore by Saturday evening and were still counting.

The ACB officials have to open five bank lockers. The market value of these assets is estimated at around Rs 100 crore. The raids were conducted in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kadapa, Guntur and Bengaluru.

The ACB said it had identified proxies of Gangadharam. The official had entered service as deputy executive engineer and worked in East Godavari, Krishna, Kurnool, Kadapa, Karim-nagar, RR and Hyderabad districts, before being appointed engineer-in-chief of R&B department.

During the searches, the ACB found a duplex house at Kukatpally and two flats at Gaddiannaram in Hyderabad worth nearly Rs 90 lakh in the name of his wife M. Uma Maheswari.

In the name of his son M. Chaitanya Tej, ACB officials found two flats at Nallagandla, Hyderabad, 6.25 acres at Chevella in Ranga Reddy district, investments to the tune of Rs 2.2 crore in four companies and 24.2 acres of land in Chittoor district.

Gangadharam also allegedly amassed assets in the names of his daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law and father-in-law. Officials also cracked down on the benamis of Gangadharam who included contractors. Officials said some of the benamis did not know that he had bought assets in their name.

The officials found nine acres of land at Bhimili in Visakhapatnam in the name of V. Vishnupriya, Rs 42 lakh unaccounted cash from one V. Visweswar Rao from Vijayawada, and Rs 30 lakh cash from V. Nagabhusan Rao from Hyderabad.

Another Rs 45 lakh was recovered from his house in Hyderabad. All the currency was in new denomination notes. ACB director-general R.P. Thakur said Gangadharam used to collect bribes in the form of commissions for government contracts. He was facing allegations of doing undue favours by changing the alignments of road at Bhimili in Visakhapatnam.

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