The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested T Venkattram Reddy, the former chairman and promoter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL), on charges of money laundering and defrauding banks. Reddy was arrested on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, after being interrogated by the ED for two days. The ED has also arrested two other DCHL officials, P K Iyer and Mani Oomen.
The ED has alleged that Reddy and the other two accused persons conspired to defraud banks by submitting fake documents and inflating the company’s profits. The ED has also alleged that Reddy diverted the money borrowed from banks to other purposes, including his personal expenses.
Reddy and the other two accused persons have been booked under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They have been produced before a special PMLA court in Hyderabad, which has remanded them in ED custody till June 21.
Reddy is a well-known businessman and politician from Andhra Pradesh. He was the chairman and promoter of DCHL, which publishes the English daily Deccan Chronicle, and other newspapers. He was also the first owner of the former Indian Premier League (IPL) team Deccan Chargers.
The arrest of Reddy is a major blow to the DCHL, which is already facing financial problems. The company has been defaulting on loans taken from banks for several years. The ED’s investigation is likely to further damage the company’s financial position.
The arrest of Reddy has also raised questions about the role of other senior DCHL officials in the alleged fraud. The ED is likely to question other DCHL officials in the coming days.