Pilot bought 12 acres with Manipal fraud money

Pilot bought 12 acres with Manipal fraud money

Vishal Somanna

Dubai-based Qatar Airways pilot Vishal Somanna, an accused in the Manipal fraud case, purchased 12 acres in Madikeri from the money siphoned off from the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG).

DCP (central) D Devaraj told DH that the investigation has revealed that Somanna, a native of South Kodagu, purchased 12 acres at two places. A letter and an email have been sent to Qatar Airways to help arrest Somanna and a lookout notice has been issued to all the airports, seeking his arrest.

The police said that Somanna’s sister Amrita Chengappa and mother Meera, who were also arrested in the case, have not given any details about him during their custody and it would be difficult to arrest him as they have to follow a lot of procedures to extradite Somanna from Dubai, and before that they have to find him.

Somanna is accused number three in the case and played a major role in creating fake companies abroad and also diverting MEMG's money to personal accounts of the accused. The police also suspect his involvement in forging MEMG chairman Ranjan Pai’s signature.

The police said that Somanna came in contact with Sandeep Gururaj, the prime accused and former deputy manager of finance at MEMG, through his sister Amrita in 2008 and from 2009, he joined hands with Gururaj.

Gururaj diverted Rs 52 crore into Somanna’s accounts abroad. Somanna’s arrest is very important in the case as transactions worth crores of rupees happened between them.

It is learnt that Pai has written a letter to the state government seeking to appoint a Special Public Prosecutor in the case, considering the gravity of the case.

Somanna, a Business Management graduate, took to aviation and became a pilot. Initially, he was a pilot with Emirates and later moved to Qatar Airways. He was also a freelance model and participated in fashion shows.