Police have over the years unearthed crimes linked to big names in Tollywood. But the recent arrest of Dadar Express film producer K.V. Rao in the ephedrine drugs smuggling case has brought the notoriety within the industry into focus. Police say offenders from the film world take up crime with an eye to making quick and easy money. R.S. Praveen Kumar, the city’s joint commissioner of police, says crimes relating to women and money are rampant in T’wood. “To finance films, some producers resort to crimes like cheating, forgery,” he says.The sex trade is interlinked with Tollywood with filmmakers exploiting actresses and junior artists who enter the industry with dreams of making it big. There has been an instance where a film actress ran brothels. Film actress Jaya Lakshmi alias Seema and her mother Aadi Lakhsmi were arrested in 2009 January by City Task Force sleuths for the same. Jaya Lakshmi was the heroine in Sakutumba Saparivara Samethanga, Kumkuma, Ayudham, Adhipathi and Madhumasam, Hero, Bhagyalakshmi Bumper draw films.Cheating, forgery and fraud cases have woven a nasty web around financing of film with big star names cropping up in police files. Central Crime Station sleuths last November registered a case against veteran actor Krishna and his brother Adi Seshagari Rao for allegedly cheating a producer.
Financier Babji gave Rs 14.5 lakh to Padmalaya studios owned by Krishna. Babji’s son B S S Anand alleged that when his father died his signature was forged and the film was released. Anand lodged a police complaint after learning that Padmalaya studios reportedly sold the television rights for four films financed by Babji.In February last year a cheating case was filed against SK Basheed, producer of Allari movies in Banjara Hills police station. He was later arrested for allegedly duping a cardiologist’s wife by forging her signature to secure lakhs of rupees as a bank loan. Police say Basheed approached the woman and her husband on seeing her advertisement to a plot of land. He allegedly photocopied vital plot documents and later fabricated papers by forging her signature. He faces several cases of land grabbing and cheating.The black list continues. Noted film music director Ramana Gogula faces a cheating case in Central Crime Station, while film producer Pratani Ramakrishna Goud also faces a fake currency circulation case. Film producer Bellamkonda Suresh tops the list in cheating cases — at least five cases are pending against him, police say. It was this same producer who was shot at by actor Balakrishna, at the latter’s residence, when the two got into a heated argument. Noted Producer-director Tammareddy Bhardwaja says, “Tollywood produces around 120 films an year and there are only five to six regular producers. Many are unknown names — who they are, where they come from, what’s their background… nobody knows. They come and go because 90 percent films flop. Financiers try and extract high interest rates which is impossible to pay. But you can’t blame the entire industry.”(DC)