ACB unearths disproportionate assets of AP engineer

Vijayawada: The Anti-Corruption Bureau on Saturday unearthed huge disproportionate assets allegedly amassed by engineer-in-chief of the AP roads and buildings department M. Gangadharam.

As many as 20 teams raided the properties belonging to Gangadharam at 10 different locations. Officials said they found Rs 8.5-crore worth disproportionate assets by Saturday evening and were still counting; officials have to open five bank lockers.

The market value of these assets is much higher and estimated at more than Rs 100 crore. The ACB conducted coordinated raids at Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kadapa, Guntur and Bengaluru.

The ACB said it had identified benamis of Gangadharam and found unaccounted money from them, which is said to belong to Gangadharam.

The official had entered service as deputy executive engineer and worked at East Godavari, Krishna, Kurnool, Kadapa, Karim-nagar, Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad districts, before being appointed engineer-in-chief in the roads and buildings department.

During the searches, the ACB found a duplex house at Kukatpally and two house 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 house flats at Nallagandla, Hydera-bad, 6.25 acres at Chevella in Ranga Reddy district, investments to the tune of `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.

The ACB 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 9 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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