In a further crackdown on those allegedly behind the Satyam Computer Services fraud, the Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested another two top executives - G Ramakrishna, vice-president, finance, D Venkatpati Raju, general manager, finance, and Srisailam Chetguru, assistant manager in the finance department. The trio have been remanded to judicial custody for 15 days.
They were taken into custody by CBI officers late on Sunday on charges of having connived with the main accused, B Ramalinga Raju, the founder and former chairman of Satyam. The CBI also seized computers, laptops and other records from the three accused.
The prosecution told a special court for CBI cases in Hyderabad that the trio were part of the conspiracy in the massive accounting fraud. The accused were involved in making fictitious invoices and preparing fake balance sheets, the prosecution claimed.
These are the first arrests since the investigation of the fraud in the IT outsourcing major were handed over to the CBI in February.
Ramalinga Raju, his brother and former managing director of the company B Rama Raju, and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas were arrested in January by local police, and remain in Chanchalguda central jail.
Two former partners of Satyam's accounting firm Price Waterhouse, S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Taluri, are also in custody. Price Waterhouse, the Indian affiliate of PricewaterhouseCoopers, audited Satyam's financial statements from the quarter ended 30 June 2000 through 30 September 2008.
Head of the CBI investigating team Lakshmi Narayana said, "We are on the job. We will spell out the next course of action to the court."
Despite news of the fresh arrests, Satyam shares rose sharply, helped by government-appointed director Deepak Parekh's statement on Saturday that the company would chose a winning bidder for majority ownership of Satyam on 13 April.