Hyderabad: Within the Enforcement Directorate, where he had a long stint as assistant director, from 2012 to 2019, he was known to be “very smart” and “good at his work” — something that his superiors sitting in New Delhi thought was the perfect combination for any ED official, who are tasked to go after money launderers.
Now, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which registered a disproportionate assets (DA) case against Bollineni Srinivasa Gandhi, who previously worked with ED and is now superintendent of the anti-evasion wing of GST, Hyderabad zone, stumbled upon inputs which suggest that the official was indeed smart.
The CBI, which is probing how Gandhi had amassed wealth running into several crores of rupees, has learnt that bribes were reportedly being paid to him through a tax consultancy firm that was run under the supervision of his wife Sireesha, which made the entire affair look like official business.
The accused couple were said to be doing real estate business, which the premier investigating agency believes was started to launder money.
Sources associated with the investigation told Deccan Chronicle that these two aspects have come up during the probe, based on which further enquiries are being made.
“A major portion of the bribes were being paid to him through the consultancy firm, which would not raise suspicion. Secondly, the couple were also into real estate business and the available inputs suggest the business was started in his wife's name to launder money. These aspects are under investigation,” sources said, adding that Sireesha was actually a house-wife and hardly had any knowledge of taxation issues.
Asked how the ED top brass never got wind of his alleged illegal activities, sources said they felt that the officer was good at his work and didn't look further. “They were under the impression that he was good at his work and obviously he had in-depth knowledge about money laundering and taxation issues,” they said.
At the moment, a lot of information is trickling in about the dealings of Gandhi and his wife, and it is being scrutinised and cross-checked, sources said. “Thereafter, he will be issued summons and called for questioning. Normally in a disproportionate assets case, the accused official is questioned quite a few times as and when new evidence keeps coming up,” sources said, adding it will take quite some time to dig out all details of the properties acquired by Gandhi and his family members.
As for the Enforcement Directorate, its top officials who were taken aback by the corruption angle involving Gandhi are making their own internal enquiries as Gandhi was dealing with several cases involving top industrialists and businessmen. He was also the official dealing with the quid pro quo case involving AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and cases pertaining to mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy.
The CBI registered a disproportionate assets case against Gandhi and his wife Sireesha on Tuesday. They were found to own assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The assets were to the tune of Rs 3.75 crore though the market value of the said properties is ten times more....