Saturday, June 22, 2024

ED official in Tamil Nadu arrested in bribery case, office searched

Officials of Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption searched the office of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Madurai after arresting an officer of the central agency for allegedly extorting Rs 20 lakh from a state government employee, sources said on Saturday.

In an unprecedented action, the DVAC officials arrested Ankit Tiwari on charges of demanding and accepting bribes from a government doctor, who is an accused in a disproportionate assets case.

The sleuths seized Rs 20 lakh cash from his car, which he had allegedly received as a bribe.

The ED official was then taken to the V&AC office in Dindigul for interrogation.

They later conducted searches at the ED’s Madurai office and his residence late on Friday and reportedly seized several documents and later sent the officer to a 14-day judicial custody.

This is the first time in Tamil Nadu that an officer of ED has been arrested.

Following a complaint received from Dr Suresh Babu of Dindigul, the V&AC had registered a case against the ED official on Thursday.

As per the complainant, he worked as Deputy Superintendent in the Government Hospital in Dindigul. A case of accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was booked against him in 2018.

He alleged that Tiwari had contacted him a few months ago and demanded a bribe of Rs 3 crore to relieve him of the charges.

As the doctor refused to pay the huge money, Tiwari negotiated with him to part with Rs 51 lakh. The complainant said on November 1 he had handed over Rs 20 lakh in cash to Tiwari.

Since, the ED officer allegedly started harassing him for the remaining Rs 31 lakh, the doctor lodged a complaint with the V&AC.

The agency laid a trap by asking Babu to hand over Rs 20 lakh in cash to Tiwari.

After the ED officer received the cash from Babu at Thomiarpuram on Dindigul-Madurai highway, a team of V&AC officials chased Tiwari’s car, intercepted him at the Kodaikanal Road Toll Collection Plaza and seized the cash.

The ED official’s arrest came amid the face-off between the state government and ED over the latter’s summons to five district collectors in connection with a probe into alleged money laundering linked to illegal sand mining.

Early this week, the High Court stayed the summons for three weeks.



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