Karnataka official with 800% disproportionate assets found: ACB
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) continued its raids at several government officials across the state on Thursday for the second consecutive day to catch officials having disproportionate assets to their known sources of income. ACB officials said in their assessment, they have recovered properties running into crores and in some cases the disproportionate assets were found to be over 800% from an official’s salary.
The agency conducted simultaneous search operations at 68 locations related to 15 government officials, it said in a brief statement. The ACB searched houses, offices, and residences across Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Mandya, Kalburgi and other locations. The agency said 503 ACB officials took part in the raids.
Apart from large recovery of property, the raids saw bizarre scenes such as officials using a bucket to drain out ₹13.50 lakh in cash, stuffed inside a water pipe of public works department (PWD) junior engineer Shanta Gouda, during a raid in Kalaburgi district on Wednesday.
The ACB statement said following the raid at his Gouda’s house, they found ₹41.52 lakh worth property, which included 2 houses in Kalaburgi, 1 in Bengaluru, three cars, 1 school bus, two-wheelers, 2 tractors, cash, 100 grams gold ornaments, 36-acre agricultural land, and ₹15 lakh worth household materials. The ACB claimed that Gouda has 406.1% disproportionate assets compared to his salary and other earning.
According to the ACB, the largest recovery was reported during a raid at home of Vasudev RN, a former project director (planning), Nirmithi Kendra, in Bengaluru Rural district. A total property worth ₹18 crore, which included 5 houses and 8 plots in Bengaluru, 4 houses in Nelamangala, 10.20 acre agricultural land in Nelamangala, 850 grams of gold ornaments, 9.50kg silver ornaments, ₹15 lakh cash and ₹98 lakh worth household materials.
“We found that he had 879 % disproportionate assets. It is the highest we found during the raids,” an ACB official said.
Besides, the ACB seized assets (moveable and immovable) to the tune of ₹4.9 crore from the premises of Mayanna M, a first division clerk Major Roads and Infrastructure at Bengaluru civic body BBMP. “Even he has used several Benami properties registered to his wife, mother-in-law, and some friends. We have raided four locations related to Mayanna. He is yet to provide explanations for the disproportionate assets. Legal proceedings will be followed,” the officer said.
His properties included 4 houses in Bengaluru, 6 plots, 2 acres of agricultural land, 2 two-wheelers, 1 car, ₹59,000 cash, ₹10 lakh Fixed deposit, ₹1.5 lakh in savings accounts, 600 grams gold ornaments, 3 benami immovable properties, ₹12 lakh worth household materials, the ACB statement said.
The raids come at the time when the BJP government in the state is still facing heat from the Opposition on the Bitcoin scam. The Congress has been relentless in its attacks on the Basavaraj Bommai government over the alleged laundering of money using the cryptocurrency with the help of a hacker named Srikrishna or Sriki.