HYDERABAD SATURDAY JUNE 12, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION `2,790-CR DODGY TRANSACTIONS PUT HEAT ON CRYPTO BIGGIE The ED is probing if Mumbai-headquartered WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has violated FEMA norms CHINESE NATIONALS LAUNDERED MONEY: E.D. IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL LAWS: WAZIRX The showcause notice issued by the central probe agency under various sections of FEMA names the exchange and directors Nischal Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre. The ED issued a statement saying that it stumbled upon the transactions of the exchange during an ongoing money laundering probe into “Chinese-owned” illegal online betting applications ■ ■ ED said Chinese nationals laundered crime proceeds worth `57 cr by converting INR deposits into cryptocurrency and transferring them to Cayman Islands-registered Binance, WazirX’s parent firm However, WazirX’s promoters flatly denied any wrongdoing and claimed they are “in compliance with all applicable laws” | P10 Binance THE GLOBAL CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE ACQUIRED WAZIRX IN 2019 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI emergency Mukul Roy ghar wapsi Covaxin’sin US fails nod push Jolt to Bengal BJP as he rejoins Trinamool; was soft on Didi during poll P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata WARM RECEPTION Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao presents a memento to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on Friday. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli are also seen. This is Justice Ramana’s first visit to the city after assuming charge as the CJI Bank fraud: ED searches at Nama’s houses, offices EX PRESS N EWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted searches at TRS MP Nama Nageswara Rao’s residences and offices in Hyderabad and Khammam, in connection with a `1,064-crore bank fraud. The searches began on Friday morning at his residences in Hyderabad and Khammam, offices of Madhucon Infra, and houses of Ranchi Expressway CMD K Srinivasa Rao, its director N Seetaiah and Nageswara Rao’s son N Prithvi Teja. Ranchi Expressway is an entity floated by Madhucon Infra for executing a road contract of four-laning a 163-km stretch from Ranchi to Jamshedpur. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had awarded the contract to Mad- hucon in 2011. A consortium of banks led by Canara Bank agreed to loan the firm `1,151 crore for the project, in addition to a contribution of `503 crore from promoters. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case against Ranchi Expressway and its directors, after a PIL was filed in the Jharkhand High Court. The CBI found that the project was not moving forward and that the accused defrauded the banks to the tune of over `1,000 crore. In 2018, the loan became a non-performing asset. Consequently, the NHAI terminated the contract and forfeited `73 crore. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), in its report, concluded that `264.01 crore was not used for the project, and in turn, was diverted for other activities. RAPUNZEL SYNDROME OGH saves teen’s life in hair-raising surgery E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad HYDERABAD’S Osmania General Hospital (OGH) will go down in history for saving the life of a 17-year-old malnourished girl suffering from a rare condition called Rapunzel syndrome, which is characterised by a desire to consume one’s own hair. This condition is generally triggered by trauma of abandonment, sexual assault, loss of parents and so on. The teenager from Shamshabad had been eating her own hair for the past five months. A team of doctors from the OGH, in- Two-hour cluding the superintendent of the operation hospital Dr B Nagendar, retrieved Five senior nearly 2 kg of hair that was 150 cm professors from long — the longest-ever reported the Surgery and worldwide — from the patient’s Anaesthesia small and large intestines. Depts, including “So far, only 68 such cases have Dr Pandu Naik, Dr been reported from across the world. K Rani, Dr G Anil We have treated one other case of Kumar and Dr Rapunzel syndrome in the hospital Pavan, performed previously said Dr Nagendar. ,” the surgery with “The patient was operated on by the help of PG the team of doctors on June 2. She doctors. The came to the hospital nearly a month operation lasted ago with complaints of pain in the nearly two hours abdomen and nausea. Her sister told us that she had a history of eating her own hair. At the time, we could not initiate her treatment as she had tested positive for Covid-19. She beat the virus at Gandhi Hospital and was brought here for an abdominal surgery said Dr Pandu Naik from the De,” partment of Anaesthesia. Administering anaesthesia to the patient, who suffered from poor nutrition-absorption due the giant knots of hair in her system, posed a massive challenge for the surgeons. “Cases like these bring out the best in our doctors,” said Dr Nagendar. JAB-O-METER NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths TAKE YOUR SHOT June 10 30,32,675 doses June 11 31,50,368 doses TOTAL DOSES: 24,93,16,572 JUNE 10 94,052 91,702 1,51,367 1,34,580 6,148 3,403 TELANGANA JUNE 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 11 1,798 2,524 14 JUNE 11 1,707 2,493 16 THE BJP, which is still smarting from the poor show in the recently held Assembly election in West Bengal, on Friday received another jolt as its national vice-president Mukul Roy and his son Subhrangshu deserted the saffron party to rejoin the Trinamool Congress. Roy met West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, the party’s national general secretary, at the party’s headquarters Trinamool Bhavan. “Mukul is an old member of the TMC family and old is gold. The BJP had threatened and tortured him using central agencies. After coming back to the TMC, mental peace has returned to him. No one in Bengal can survive in the BJP. Mukul’s return is a reflection of the BJP’s intra-party oppression,’’ said Mamata. Roy was TMC’s national secretary and the second-in-com- Mukul Roy with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday | PTI mand when he switched over to the BJP in 2017 after he was interrogated by the CBI and the ED in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation case. Roy’s return to the TMC was not entirely unexpected. Mamata’s soft stance on Roy during the election campaign had triggered speculation. While addressing a rally in Nandigram, from where Mamata contested and lost to Suvendu Adhikari, she said Roy was much better than Suvendu. Roy, too, re- frained from launching a frontal attack against the TMC. Endorsing the speculations, Mamata said, “Many others attacked the TMC and showed their cheap mentality, but Mukul was not like them.’’ After he was welcomed back to the TMC fold, Roy said, “I am happy to be in my old place. I could not continue in the BJP, so I decided to join the TMC.” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, sought to downplay Roy’s departure, saying, “With his presence, we did not get any dividend. What damage will be caused because of his defection?’’ TMC sources told this newspaper Roy’s old rivalry with Mamata’s nephew could dent his position in the party. “He was the second-in-command in the party But later, he became . unhappy with the rise of the CM’s nephew Abhishek. Now Abhishek is much more powerful as the national general secretary which indicates the par, P7 ty’s line of succession.” S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi C OVA X I N m a n u f a c t u r e r Bharat Biotech, which is already drawing flak in India for the unusual delay in releasing its final phase 3 clinical trial results, got a fresh jolt as the US drug regulator declined emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine in its country . Indian authorities, however, claimed the US decision will have no bearing on the nation’s Covid vaccination drive, of which Covaxin — apart from Covishield — is a key element. The USFDA advised Bharat Biotech’s US partner Ocugen to take the biological license applications — or full approval — route instead for the approval. Putting it in context, Bharat Biotech said the USFDA has already stopped issuing EUAs, since the country now has good herd immunity and a significant percentage of its population is vaccinated. “Our US partner, Ocugen, has received a recommendation from the FDA to pursue a Biologics License Applications path for Covaxin,” the firm said. It added that for standard approval, data from an additional clinical trial will be required, extending the company’s timelines. No vaccine manufactured or developed from India has ever received EUA or full licensure from USFDA. “Thus, it will be a great leap forward for vaccine innovation and manufacturing from India when approved,” claimed Bharat Biotech. Covaxin has restricted use permission from 14 countries while its applications are under evaluation in more than 50 other countries. The WHO is yet to issue its EUA due to lack CONTINUED ON P8 of data. 10,000 DEATHS ADDED TO MAHA TALLY | P7 Now, buzz on Cabinet expansion at Centre too SEDITION M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi THE BJP’s attempts to energise its organisation and governments at the Centre and Lucknow gained pace on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding extensive discussions with Union home minister Amit Shah and party chief J P Nadda. They got into a huddle after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Modi and Nadda separately, amid indications that the party brass will take full command of the poll prepara- tions in the battleground state. The much delayed Cabinet expansion at the Centre, filling of vacancies in the BJP Parliam e n t a r y Board and organisational issues in the specific cont e x t o f U P, were learnt to be on the meeting a g enda. The BJP’s attempt to make course corrections by wooing smaller parties that were previously allies but drifted away due to differences with Adityanath, could be reflected in the Cabinet expansions both at the Centre and UP sources said. , While the Prime Minist e r ’s O f f i c e completed its perfor mance appraisal of the Union ministers early last year, the expected shake-up in the team was put off primarily because of the Covid challenge, said sources. They added that the BJP is now keen to give visibility to NDA allies. The list of the Union Cabinet hopefuls has grown, with former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal joining the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sushil Kumar Modi, besides NDA ally JD (U). And the Parliamentary Board has four vacancies. A common theme emerging out of consultations between RSS and BJP leaders recently is the need for an image makeover of the government at the Centre with the induction of new faces. ACTOR AISHA SULTHANA SUMMONED ON JUNE 20 | P5 EXPRESS READ K’taka HC allows panel probe into e-tailers Bengaluru: In a major win for small retailers, who have been alleging that foreign firms are violating the Competition Act and FDI Act, the Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed the Competition Commission of India to probe the anti-competitive practices by Amazon and Flipkart | P8
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