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Guns & Gold: The curious case of Andhra’s treasury official assets

As if it were a scene straight out of an action thriller, a police raid in Anantapur unravelled tonnes of gold and silver ornaments along with guns of different sizes and models. It is not from a rich businessman who fancies horses or has made shooting his hobby. This came right out of a government employee’s hidden treasure. 
 
Surprised? There’s more to this. The man had nearly 50 different types of gold and silver ornaments, weapons that he fancied and several documents, promissory notes. Interestingly, he also owns horses and fancy bikes like Harley Davidson and two Hero Honda Karizmas along with three Royal Enfield Bullets, 2 SUVs and three tractors. Wondering how? Well, Corruption it is. 
 
He also had cash worth Rs. 15 lakh, fixed deposits and NSS bonds worth Rs. 49 lakh, and promissory notes worth Rs. 27 lakh. He had three 9 mm pistols (gas pistols which look similar to original ones), 18 blank rounds, and an air gun.
 
Interestingly, Manoj Kumar, was given a job in the government’s treasury department on compassionate grounds after the passing of his father Surya Prakash who worked as a constable in Anantapur. It is learnt that Manoj always fancied a lavish lifestyle and never did work before he landed the job. However, after he was put into the government office, he found the ways and means of accumulating wealth illegally, most of which even his colleagues are unaware of. 

Manoj Kumar kept the gold and silver ornaments, weapons, and several documents in the house of Balappa, who is the father-in-law of his driver. “The properties are registered under the names of Manoj Kumar and his mother, and some are under his driver’s name,” said Additional Superintendent of Police Ramakrishna Prasad.
 
The police conducted searches after hearing that weapons were stored in the house. Fearing that he would be caught by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials, Manoj Kumar hid the assets in the dilapidated residence of Balappa, police sources said.
 
Manoj Kumar deals with pension-related issues of retired government employees. Sources said he was recently transferred to the Dharmavaram treasury office, but did not start working there and got the transfer orders cancelled. He continues to work at the Anantapur treasury office.
 
Well, finally the Income Tax Department and the Anti-Corruption Bureau are vying for ways to close this chapter of Manoj soon. Like they say, the sooner you make money, the sooner it disappears. This story proves it right!
 

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