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CBI begins searches in Jagan, Emaar cases

Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday began simultaneous searches at several places in the cases relating to alleged illegal assets of YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and irregularities in Emaar township project.

According to sources in CBI, about 20 teams began simultaneous searches at several places in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

Armed with search warrants from a special court, the CBI sleuths began the searches at the residences of Jaganmohan Reddy, IAS officer B.P. Acharya, businessman Nimmagadda Prasad.

Searches were also launched at the offices of the companies owned by Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, and the firms which invested in his businesses.
The searches began a day after CBI registered a First Information Report in both the cases on the direction of Andhra Pradesh High Court.

A team of 11 CBI officers started searching at the palatial residence of Jagan at Lotus Pond at Banjara Hills. Simultaneous search was also on at the residence of Prasad in Sainikpuri.

The first search began early in the day at the residence of Acharya in Mahindra Hills here. He was managing director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) when Dubai-based Emaar allegedly committed irregularities in developing a township project here.

Emaar, which was allotted land by APIIC, allegedly brought down the latter’s equity in the joint venture and roped in another company without permission from APIIC, causing huge losses to public exchequer.

The CBI officers also launched the searches at the offices of Bharati Cement and Telugu daily and television channel Sakshi, owned by Jagan, son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Prasad of Matrix Lab is one of the investors who pumped in big money in Jagan’s businesses allegedly in a quid pro quo arrangement in return for the benefits they received from his father when he was chief minister.

The petitioners, including a minister belonging to Congress party and leaders of opposition Telugu Desam Party, alleged that Jagan amassed huge wealth by misusing power when his father was chief minister from 2004 to 2009.

During the by-polls to Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in May this year, Jagan had declared assets of Rs.365 crore, making him the richest MP in the country. In 2009 elections, he was worth Rs.77 crore.

Textiles Minister P. Shankar Rao, on whose letter last year the court took up hearing, claims Jagan was worth Rs.11 lakh prior to 2004 but now has assets worth Rs.43,000 crore.

The high court last week directed full-fledged probe against him and also in the alleged scam in Emaar project. The CBI earlier conducted preliminary investigations in both the cases and submitted its reports to the court.

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