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CBI books four of its officials for bribes, raids own headquarters

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday raided its own headquarters at the CGO complex here after booking four officials for allegedly taking bribes from a company being probed by the agency. It also launched search operations at 14 locations on premises associated with these officials, and some middlemen and chartered accountants, across the country.

“The CBI has registered a case against its four officials, including a DSP, inspector, steno and private persons/others, including advocates etc… on the allegations of compromising the investigation of certain cases on extraneous pecuniary considerations, ” CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said.

The officials were identified by sources as DySPs R K Rishi and R K Sangwan; stenographer Sameer Kumar Singh; and Inspector Kapil Dhankad.

Searches were carried out at premises in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon, Meerut and Kanpur, CBI officials said. Late on Thursday night, a team also searched offices associated with the four officials at the CBI headquarters at the CGO complex.

Sources said of the two DySPs named, one has worked in the Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of the agency for long. The suspected officials allegedly took bribes in connection with a bank fraud case, estimated to be worth over Rs 3,500 crore, involving a company based in Mumbai. The officials are accused of extending favours and sharing case information with the company in exchange for bribes paid every month.

Sources said the officials were in touch with the promoters of the company and multiple middlemen who negotiated on their behalf. The inquiry was started based on information from a source, following which a CBI special unit put the phones of the suspected officials under surveillance and the allegations against them were found to be prima face true.

Two years ago, the CBI had put five officials of one of its anti-corruption units under scanner for allegedly helping suspects being probed by the agency for pecuniary gains. Their names had cropped up following a raid on a caterer at the Palika Services Officers’ Institute in Chanakyapuri in 2018. The caterer, Rakesh Tiwari, had earlier served as the CBI’s caterer.

In searches carried out in August 2018 at the institute, the CBI had recovered 20 Rolex luxury watches, Rs 3.6 crore in cash and Rs 1.6 crore worth jewellery from a cupboard in Tiwari’s office. The CBI claimed to have also come across documents showing alleged hawala transactions to the tune of several crores of rupees. Sources said the agency suspected that several officers were using Tiwari’s services to transfer funds abroad illegally, and to influence CBI cases registered against them.

However, no officer has as yet been prosecuted in the case, with transfers of some DySP and inspector-level officers the only action taken.

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