Andhra Pradesh ready for CBI probe into Satyam fraud: YSR

January 28th, 2009 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghHyderabad, Jan 28 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that his government had no problems with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) taking over the investigations into the Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000 crore) fraud in Satyam Computer Services.”Our government would welcome the CBI taking over the case, if deemed appropriate,” the chief minister wrote in the letter, copies of which were released to the media.

His suggestion came amid mounting criticism from opposition parties over the way in which the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh was handling the probe and reported comments by central government agencies complaining about the lack of required cooperation from the state agency.

“The present political context just ahead of the general elections made the issue more sensational. The political parties exploited the issue and made targeted attacks that the state government is interested in diluting the gravity of the case,” he wrote.

“There have been reports in the media carrying comments supposedly made by central government agencies to the effect that required cooperation with central investigating agencies is wanting.”

YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, also mooted the idea that the ministry of finance or ministry of company affairs suggest a coordinating mechanism involving central investigating agencies like SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) or SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) to coordinate with the state CID.

“The state government is also sensitive to the fact that the huge human potential of 50,000 IT professionals should not be dissipated,” he wrote.

The chief minister has informed the prime minister in the letter that the CID was in regular touch with central agencies like SEBI, Enforcement Directorate and Registrar of Companies and held several rounds of talks with their officials.

“The director (investigation) of the income tax department was also informed about searches from time to time and the IT department was also associated in the investigations.”

Referring to the outcome of the investigations conducted by the CID so far, the chief minister said over 300 companies were raised by the close relatives of B. Ramalinga Raju as directors/promoters and this facilitated insider trading of shares.

“Investigations so far revealed embellishment of the bank accounts by the company for more than seven years to impress the clients within the country and overseas. This inflation of current account balance is testified by bank officials concerned. In addition, the company also raised money from NBFCs (non-banking financial companies) by pledging shares,” the letter said.

Defending the contracts for various infrastructure projects awarded to Maytas Infra, the firm owned by Ramalinga Raju’s son, the chief minister, however, said the scope of the CID investigations includes a probe into any connecting link between Satyam and Maytas.

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