NEW DELHI/ AHMEDABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation today carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate’s Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the Indian Premier League or IPL cricket betting probe.
According to CBI sources, the agency has registered a case of alleged corruption against JP Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer of Customs and Excise wing, on the basis of a complaint received from the Enforcement Directorate.
“It has been alleged that certain officers of Enforcement Directorate while investigating the cases of money laundering in betting and other such activities have allegedly demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspect persons in the said cases,” said a statement from the CBI.
It is alleged that Rs. 15 crore was handed over as bribe to Mr Singh’s father-in-law, SKS Somvanshi, a retired Indian Revenue Service officer of 1978 batch, by hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
The Directorate’s Ahmedabad unit is probing the Rs. 2,000 crore IPL betting scandal, and the Rs. 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta, in which the suspects allegedly sought favours, said sources.
After registering the cases, CBI carried out searches the Enforcement Directorate office in Ahmedabad and residences of Mr Singh and Additional Directors, Sanjay Kumar, and PS Srinivas, both of whom are Enforcement Directorate cadre officers in Ahmedabad. Mr Somvanshi’s house was also searched in Delhi.
The operation, which started in the evening, is still continuing with a team of the agency reaching Surat to search the residence of Mr Srinivas there as well.
The statement said, “Huge bribe amount was allegedly taken by these officers as quid pro quo for various acts of omission and commission.”
The case has been registered under provisions of criminal conspiracy under Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and unknown officials of the Enforcement Directorate.
Sources said the Enforcement Directorate Director received multiple complaints from various quarters about the alleged demand for bribe by the senior officials of its Ahmedabad unit after which it was forwarded to the CBI.