Top GST official arrested in Andhra Pradesh by ACB

Amaravati, Jan 31 (PTI) A senior officer of the GST Department was today arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly owning, in his or his relatives’ names, assets worth over Rs 150 crore.

Andhra Pradesh DG ACB R P Thakur
Andhra Pradesh DG ACB R P Thakur

ACB sleuths, after simultaneous searches at the properties of Geddapu Lakshmi Prasad and his relatives at about 20 places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, arrested him for possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Prasad is currently a Commissioner (GST) in the office of Chief Commissioner of Commercial Taxes.

He had previously served as a key aide to state Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu.

An ACB official said the market value of Prasad’s assets could be well over Rs 150 crore as most of it was “prime property”.

A release issued by ACB Director General R P Thakur said the officer owned an “extravagant” house measuring 7,000 sqft in Srikakulam town, built in 2003-04 and a 400-sq yard house site at Gorantla in Guntur.

At least seven plots measuring a total of 2,255 sq yards in prime localities of Visakhapatnam, Parigi (in Telangana) and Guntur were found registered in the name of Prasad’s first wife Alivelu, the release said.

His second wife Mallika owned four house plots, measuring a total of 1,212 sq yards, close to Guntur city, all purchased in 2014.

She also held three flats in posh apartment complexes in prime localities in Hyderabad and over 2.4 acres of land in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana and in Visakhapatnam, the release said.

Two acres of agricultural land were found to be registered in the name of Prasad’s mother-in-law in Srikakulam district and another two acres in the name of his sister-in-law in Ranga Reddy district.

A promissory note for Rs one crore against the money lent by Prasad, bank balance of Rs 34 lakh, gold jewellery worth Rs 40 lakh, an SUV, two Maruti cars and two two-wheelers were also confiscated.

“One bank locker in Hyderabad is yet to be opened,” Thakur said in the release.

On January 12, Commercial Taxes Department’s Additional Commissioner U Yedukondalu was arrested for allegedly accepting Rs 23.20 lakh from the representatives of a multinational company for an official favour.