Andhra Pradesh

Drugs scam: lab technician, medical shop owner held


The ACB officials probing the drugs scam in Directorate of Insurance Medical Services (DIMS), arrested two more suspects in the case.

P. Srirama Murthy, proprietor of Amaravathi Medicals, Bhavanipuram, Vijayawada, and Ch. Venugopal, working as lab technician in ESI dispensary, Pedakakani, Guntur, were arrested on Tuesday.

Investigation reportedly revealed that Srirama Murthy and Venugopal, started Amaravati Medicals in Vijayawada and allegedly colluded with other accused causing huge loss to the government, the ACB sleuths said.

“Then DIMS Directors and accused in the scam — C.K. Ramesh Kumar and G. Vijaya Kumar — colluded with drug store owner and the lab technician and created fake quotations in the names of some firms and obtained purchase orders from DIMS at 50% higher rates,” the investigation officers said.

Judicial custody

Srirama Murthy and Venugopal were produced in the ACB Court, which remanded them in judicial custody. The duo were shifted to Rajamahendravaram Central Prison.

The vigilance and ACB officials unearthed the scam in which then directors, a few joint directors, some civil surgeons working in some ESI hospitals, pharmacists, senior and junior assistants and other employees procured drugs, surgical equipment, dressing material, furniture and other stocks, all worth about ₹988 crore during 2016 to 2019, allegedly without inviting tenders and obtaining government sanction.

The V&E noticed that based on the recommendation letters given by the then Labour Minister K. Atchannaidu, the officials made the purchases from the companies, violating guidelines and allegedly misappropriated about ₹150 crore.

The police so far arrested nine persons in the case, and teams are searching for the remaining accused, ACB Joint Director P.V. Ravi Kumar , who is monitoring the investigation of the case, said.

Bail plea

All the seven accused arrested in the case a couple of days ago, including the Tekkali MLA, the two directors, moved bail petitions in the court on Tuesday.

However, the court rejected the petitions on technical grounds.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 10:32:40 AM |

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