The Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday continued raids against private moneylenders across the state following the sextortion case that was exposed in Vijayawada. As on Wednesday, as many as 123 moneylenders found possessing blank cheques, signed promissory notes, property documents etc. across the state have been arrested and booked under various sections of IPC including 384, 420, 506 and Section 4 of the Money Laundering Act.
Hundreds more have been detained for examination and will be arrested once the police confirms that they were wrongfully lending money and harassing borrowers. Sources meanwhile said that the cops were only arresting money lenders who had been harassing the borrowers. Among the arrested, 43 money lenders belong to the YSRC, 20 to the Telugu Desam and 12 to the Congress. Five belong to the CPI.
In Vijayawada alone 38 of the 80 detained have been arrested. They include MLC Budda Venkanna's brother Budda Nageswara Rao, YSRC mandal convenor of Piduguralla Challa Pichi Reddy and Kankipadu MPTC Ch Subhas Chandra Bose of YSRC. Speaking about the raids in a press conference, Commissioner of Police Mr Gautam Sawang said that the raids would continue and action would be taken accordingly on the moneylenders. Possessing blank cheques, blank and signed promissory notes and documents is illegal and cases that involve large amounts of money will be referred to the tax departments, said the cops.
The story so far
Dec. 7: Racket comes to light after a woman approaches Vijayawada police commissioner Gautam Sawang and lodges a complaint.
Dec. 8: Police conducts raids early in the day, picks up 12 persons. Cases booked against seven persons including the kingpin, a government official, bouncers and others: Yalamanchili Srirama Murthy, Bhavani Shankar, Chennupati Srinivasa Rao, deputy engineer of the AP southern discom Y. Satyanand, Venigalla Srikanth, Pendyala Srikanth, Dudala Rajesh.
Dec. 13: After more victims approach police and Opposition parties step up pressure, police commissioner announces late at night the arrests of Ramamurthy and Dudala Rajesh for rape and extortion.
Dec. 14: More call money victims approach the police.
Dec. 15: Police launches statewide raids against private moneylenders, and not just those restricted to call money racket. Many of the moneylenders are linked to politicians from different parties.
DGP J.V. Ramudu formally announces that Dr Sawang had applied for leave in November from Dec. 17.
Dec. 15: Dr Sawang announces cancellation of leave following requests from victims and criticism of the government from Opposition parties.
Raids continue on moneylenders. 43 belonging to YSRC, 20 to TD, 12 with links to Congress and five of the CPI arrested.