Bengaluru: His medical condition turned the fortune tables for him, albeit for a short time. Y. Ashwin, son of Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao, who has been chargesheeted in the alleged multi-crore extortion racket in the Lokayukta, reportedly met the prime accused in the racket – former joint commissioner and public relations officer, Lokayukta Syed Riyazathullah early last year, when he had come to Bengaluru for medical treatment.
“During his visit to Bengaluru early last year for treatment of an abscess, he met Riyaz and the two got talking about how to make quick and big money using the Lokayukta’s office. That was the beginning of the conspiracy,” said an official source.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its over 1,500-page chargesheet in the FIR 58/2015 has given graphic details of how the Ashwin and Riyaz had met and crafted the extortion scam with the help of the other accused – V. Bhaskar, Ashok Kumar, M.B. Srinivasa Gowda and Shankare Gowda.
The SIT tracked part of the alleged loot in the Rs 22 crore cash in the Kotak Mahindra bank account of Ashwin, which was deposited between January 16 and March 24 this year.
“Ashwin used two companies in Hyderabad to deposit Rs 22 crore in cash into his account in Kotak Mahindra, Abid Road branch in Hyderabad. The representatives of the two firms have reportedly admitted to the SIT that Ashwin had given them cash to be deposited in his bank account. The SIT is trying to find out the money trail,” said an official source.
For Riyaz, who has been the man Friday to successive Lokayuktas, the treasure hunt was a catwalk. He knew how to track down gullible government officers who could be blackmailed under the threat of a Lokayukta raid in return for hefty bribes.
Riyaz was pinned down by his once trusted lieutenant – Pramod Attanavar in the Lokayukta PRO, whose statement was recorded before the magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by the SIT.
In his statement, Pramod reportedly confessed that Riyaz misused his official powers and on many occasions had instructed the Lokayukta’s gunman to allow their ‘victims’ to come to the Lokayukta’s office for an unauthorised closed door meeting.
Didn’t know about son’s racket: Rao
Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao has reportedly denied any knowledge of the alleged extortion racket by his son. He told the SIT that he did not know about his son’s activities until the complaint, which was filed by the Superintendent of Police, Lokayukta, City wing, Sonia Narang, was brought to his notice. Meanwhile, Ashwin reportedly told the SIT that he executed the extortion racket when his father was away from Bengaluru....