The former CM Naidu is accused of conspiring to transfer at least Rs 241 crore of public monies to private firms through shell companies, resulting in a loss for the government and benefits for himself and his party.
What exactly is the APSSDC fraud in which Naidu is accused by the AP CID?
The corporation gathers content from various educational courses provided throughout the country and overseas and turns it into courses that are available online to students who register with the corporation.
Naidu’s government signed an agreement with Siemens India to establish skill development centers. The project was to be carried out by APSSDC in collaboration with a consortium that included Siemens, Industry Software India Ltd, and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd. Siemens was given the job of building six centers of excellence.
According to the MoU, the entire cost of the project would be Rs 3,356 crore, of which the state government would contribute 10% as a grant-in-aid and Siemens would invest the remainder. Naidu virtually inaugurated 17 skill development centers across the state on January 19, 2015.
However, in March 2021, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy declared in the AP Assembly that the skill development organization was a fraud, and that Naidu was the principal perpetrator and beneficiary of the fraud. Following a preliminary investigation, the AP CID filed a FIR on December 9, 2021 and began its investigation.
What are the AP CID’s allegations?
While around Rs 130 crore was spent on the project, it is alleged that Rs 241 crore was routed to at least five shell companies — Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens. These businesses were expected to supply computers, software, and other items to the skill centers.
They did not, however, provide or sell anything to the AP government, and the money was reportedly transferred to these companies on the basis of forged invoices, with no actual delivery or sale of the things specified in the invoices.
According to the CID, a portion of the monies were allegedly used to build skill development clusters, a deviation from the official method, while the remainder was channeled through shell firms.
The CID also discovered that no note files were signed by the then-Principal Secretary for Finance and the then-Chief Secretary, posing transparency concerns. According to the CID, attempts were undertaken to remove important documentary evidence related to the affair.
According to the CID, the scam’s ultimate benefactors were Naidu and the TDP. The former principal Minister, according to the CID, was the principal conspirator and prime mover of the alleged scheme, facilitating the transfer of public cash to private organizations.Based on the AP CID’s FIR, the Enforcement Directorate also conducted a separate inquiry.
How far has the case progressed?
Despite the fact that Naidu was arrested on Saturday, CID Additional DG N Sanjay stated that the inquiry will be expanded. He claimed that a custodial questioning of Naidu was required to determine where the money allegedly siphoned off went. He claimed that there was proof that the money was channeled through shell firms and ultimately into accounts associated to Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh.
There are several persons who are connected with Nara Lokesh, son of Naidu, who are involved in this illegal transfer of government funds into private accounts. The role of Lokesh Naidu will also be investigated. No one will be spared,” he said
What is the CID’s take on Chandrababu Naidu?
Naidu allegedly has exclusive knowledge of the transactions that led to the issue of government directives and memorandums of understanding, making him a pivotal role in the investigation and necessitating his detention.