ED finds Andhra hospital diverted money collected from Covid patients

Some members of the NRI Academy of Sciences collected and siphoned off huge amounts of money from Covid patients and from medical students for admission to the MBBS course, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday.

The ED, which conducted searches last week at various places in Vijayawada, Kakinada, Guntur and Hyderabad, seized cash and incriminating documents. It also froze the properties of various persons involved in the scam.

The search operations were conducted on December 2 and 3 as part of the ongoing investigation into a money laundering case booked against some of the members/office bearers of NRI Academy of Sciences.

An investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was initiated based on the FIRs registered by the Andhra Pradesh police to probe into the alleged diversion of funds of the society by some of the members.

The members allegedly collected and siphoned off huge amounts of money from Covid patients and medical students over and above the figures mentioned in the books of accounts. The funds payable to the NRI Society were diverted by floating a company with a similar name like NRIAS Private Limited.

The ED said 53 documents of immovable properties suspected in money laundering have been seized and frozen and various other incriminating documents and electronic devices found connected with the alleged diversion of funds have also been seized.

Four teams of ED officials had last week conducted searches at NRI Medical College and Hospital at Mangalagiri and at the premises of some of the members of the NRI Academy of Sciences.

The central agency found that large sums of money collected from Covid-19 patients in 2020-21 by overcharging them was not entered in the hospital records.

Loans taken for construction of buildings in the name of SC and ST beneficiaries were also allegedly diverted by floating a company.

Some of the members of the society are also facing an investigation for collecting huge donations from NRI students seeking admission into the MBBS course.

The hospital came under the scanner after some members of the management resorted to malpractices in the treatment of Covid patients and siphoned off crores of rupees through fake receipts.

Records of more than 1,500 Covid patients were not entered and the money collected from them was diverted. The hospital also allegedly collected excess money from Covid patients over and above the amount shown in the hospital records.

The money collected from the Covid patients and MBBS students was allegedly diverted to a reality firm in Hyderabad. The ED officials also conducted searches in Hyderabad and collected details of the investments made.




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