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Ex-AP CM Chandrababu Naidu held in Skill Development Corporation fraud case: AP police

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AMARAVATI, Sept 9: TDP chief N Chadrababu Naidu was arrested on Saturday in connection with an
alleged fraud case involving misappropriation of funds from the Skill Development Corporation, leading
to a loss of Rs 300 crore to the state government, AP CID Chief N Sanjay said.
Addressing reporters after Naidu’s arrest, the police official said the investigation implicated the former
AP CM and TDP as beneficiaries of misappropriation of funds.
“… this case revolves around the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the state of
Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of Rs 3,300 crores.
The alleged fraud has caused huge loss to the Government of Andhra Pradesh in excess of Rs 300
crores,” noted Sanjay, addressing a press conference at the CID office in Mangalagiri.
Reacting to his arrest, Naidu in a post on X (formerly Twitter), said, “For the past 45 years, I have
selflessly served Telugu people. I am prepared to sacrifice my life to safeguard the interests of Telugu
people. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my #AndhraPradesh and my
motherland.”
During his arrest, he appealed to people and party cadre to exercise restraint.
“Finally, truth and dharma will triumph. Whatever they do to me, I will march forward for the people,”
he said.
Elaborating further, the CID chief said, “the principal conspirator behind the entire scheme and who
orchestrated the transfer of public funds from government to private entities via shell companies has
taken place with the act of leadership of Nara Chandrababu Naidu.”
Naidu possesses the exclusive knowledge of transactions leading to the issuing of government orders
and MoUs from time to time which makes him the “central figure” of the investigation, he said, adding
that Naidu’s custodial interrogation is required.
The skill development case pertains to the setting up of clusters of centres of excellence (CoE) in the
southern state with the total estimate of the project valued at Rs 3,300 crore but ended up causing a
loss in excess of Rs 300 crore to the state government.
Incidentally, before the private entities involved in this project could spend any money, the state
government released an advance of Rs 371 crore, which is 10 percent of the government’s commitment.
The money released by the state government was diverted to shell companies through fake invoices
while no delivery or sale of the items mentioned in the invoices took place. Some of the shell companies
were also located in Singapore.
Further, he said that departing from the official procedure, a portion of the funds was used to create
CoE clusters while the remaining amount was routed to shell companies.
According to Sanjay, the statement of public officials recorded under section 164 CrPC clearly points to
the involvement of former AP CM as the principal decision maker to release the money in advance.
He insisted that further investigation of individuals like Vikas Khanvelkar, managing director of Design
Tech Systems is required.
Moreover, the CID chief said that several key documents of this case have gone missing and Naidu and
other individuals are suspected to be behind it.
The charges in the case carry penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment while custodial interrogation is
deemed necessary to uncover all the aspects of the financial fraud.
The ADGP noted that the Enforcement Directorate and GST authorities have already investigated this
case.

“The entire offence has occurred with the knowledge of the prime mover, conspirator and final
beneficiary of defalcation money. He is the former chief Minister of AP,” he said.
Naidu’s influence over the witnesses and other accused has come on record, making his arrest
compulsory because of his position and it is clearly visible that he is trying to thwart further investigation
and possible tampering of evidence, Sanjay added.
Two accused Manoj Vasudev and Pendyala Srinivas have fled to Dubai and the USA respectively. Special
teams will be dispatched to those countries to apprehend them.
He also said the role of TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh and his friend Kilaru Rajesh will be seriously
probed in the alleged cases of irregularities in AP Fibrenet, Skill Development scam and Amaravati inner
ring road.
Naidu was arrested in an early morning police operation in Nandyala, which involved officers knocking
on the door of the caravan in which he was sleeping.
The former CM was arrested by the CID around 6 am from a marriage hall (outside which his caravan
was parked) at Gnanapuram in Nandyal. (PTI)

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The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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