ED registers money laundering case against NRI Academy of Sciences, conducts raids

Enforcement Directorate officials continued searches at NRI Hospital for the second day on Saturday in connection with alleged financial irregularities during the Covid-19 pandemic, money laundering and diversion of NRI funds. The raids concluded around 3 pm.

The ED officials reportedly seized documents, hard disks and other evidence from the NR I Hospital and Akkineni Women’s Hospital and residences of directors. They also seized mobile phones of around 12 persons.

The federal agency carried out raids against the institution– NRI Academy of Sciences– on December 2-3 in Vijaywada, Kakinanda, Guntur and Hyderabad (Telangana).

The money laundering case stems from an FIR by the Andhra Pradesh Police that alleged “diversion” of funds of the society by some members in the name of construction of buildings, collection and siphoning off huge amounts of money from Covid patients over and above figures mentioned in books of accounts, collection and siphoning off huge amounts of money from medical students for admission in MBBS course over and above figures mentioned in books of accounts.

It was also alleged that funds were diverted from the amount payable to NRI society by floating a company by similar name such as NRIAS Private Limited etc.

“Fifty-three document of immovable properties suspected to be involved in money laundering have been seized and freezed and various other incriminating documents and electronic devices found connected with the alleged diversion of funds have also been seized,” the ED said in a statement.

The raids started on Friday when five ED teams of Hyderabad unit conducted searches at 15 locations, including the hospital, medical college and residences of the president, secretary, treasurer, former directors, other officer-bearers of the society and Akkineni Women’s Hospital at Gayatri Nagar, owned by Akkineni Mani, former director of NRI Institute of Medical Sciences.

Based on specific information that the management of NRI Hospital committed financial irregularities such as collecting excess fee for management quota medical seats and diverting funds to various persons, the ED officials reportedly registered a case and served notices on the management seeking information over the charges.

As part of their investigation, the ED officials also collected statements from all the directors, staff and office-bearers.

It is learnt that the ED served notices on Akkineni Women’s Hospital chairperson and managing director Akkineni Mani, along with others, including Nimmag a d d a Upendranath, Nalini Mohan and other directors of NRI Hospital.

 On the other hand, the ED officials reportedly met Mangalagiri rural police in connection with the cases registered against the NRI Hospital directors at the police station in the past. It may be recalled that a complaint was filed by Gaddipati Srinivasa Rao, an office assistant in NRI Academy of Sciences, alleging that the directors were diverting funds and committing other financial irregularities. Based on his complaint, police registered a case against Mani, Upendranath and others.

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