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ED begins probe into Satyam

HYDERABAD: Another Central agency -- the Enforcement Directorate of the Finance Ministry – stepped into the picture on Saturday by launching its own investigation into the Satyam Computers fraud.

The ED has decided to look into possible violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the company. In a letter, the Directorate has asked the Inspector General of Stamps & Registration to probe into the land transactions of former Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju. In particular, it has asked the department to inquire into nearly 50 plots allegedly purchased by Mr. Raju in Medchal and Qutbullahpur, near here.

The Income Tax department too joined the list of Central agencies investigating into the fraud. The IT department has decided to probe into the affairs of a number of entities floated by Mr. Raju for allegedly acquiring lands in their name. It is understood to have sent a list of 275 companies (along with their PAN numbers) reportedly floated by the Raju family and asked the IG of Stamps & Registration to ascertain the extent of lands and other properties registered in their names. The list consists of companies dealing with a wide variety of businesses ranging from agro farms to mansions. But, the Registration officials could so far trace transactions in respect of only 13 out of the 275 firms.

“The total worth of these lands is much less than expected. We could trace transactions worth less than Rs. 50 crore. The highest cost paid was Rs. 31.5 crore for purchasing 210 guntas (approximately 5.1 acres) at Bachupalle in Medchal mandal,” a senior official said.

The family purchased vast tracts of land from a real estate broker, Akula Rajaiah, who was the holder of the general power of attorney for lands belonging to Lambada tribals in Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts.

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