M A I N   N E W S

Raju inflated staff number to swindle
Diverted Rs 20 crore every month
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, January 22
As fresh revelations emerged in the Satyam Computers fraud case, a local court here today extended the police custody of the disgraced former chairman B Ramalinga Raju and former chief financial officer V Srinivas by a day to facilitate further questioning.

In a shocking disclosure, a public prosecutor, appearing on behalf of the CID, told the court that Raju had inflated the strength of his company’s employees and diverted about Rs 20 crore a month under fictitious names.

Contrary to Raju’s claim that there were 53,000 employees on Satyam’s rolls, the actual staff strength stood at only 40,000, the court was informed.

After intense grilling for four days, the CID sleuths produced Raju, his brother and former managing director Rama Raju and Srinivas before the 6th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ramakrishna as their police custody ended today.

The CID sought extension of custody of Raju and Srinivas by three more days while Rama Raju was sent back to Chanchalguda jail.

The interrogation of the fallen IT icon revealed that he had fudged fixed deposit documents, diverted Satyam funds to Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra, the real estate and infrastructure companies owned by his sons, and fabricated records to inflate the employees’ number.

“Raju used the non-existing employees to draw an amount of Rs 20 crore from the company every month," public prosecutor Ajay Kumar said.

Making out a strong case for extension of the police custody, he said the fraud in the software giant had wider dimensions as it was found that land transactions were done using as many as 400 benami names.

The CID counsel sought extension of police custody to facilitate further questioning of the accused on the basis of documents seized so far.

The prosecution also revealed that Raju had forged the deposit of HDFC Bank. The bank had informed the CID that a bank deposit certificate found in the records of Satyam was forged as the bank did not issue any such certificate and it did not have any such deposit of Satyam in any of its branches.

Since the case was an extraordinary one requiring further investigation, the public prosecutor said "We need more time to question them. We need to confront them with the documents".

On their part, the defence lawyers opposed the CID plea for further extension of police custody, saying the CID had already seized all documents and questioned the accused.

The CID teams are looking into the details of the properties purchased by Maytas across Andhra Pradesh during the past five years.



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