The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Thursday kitted out a complainant with concealed video and audio recording devices to trap a Revenue Department official who demanded bribe, including liquor, for regularising a building, which the petitioner had constructed without permission.
The VACB’s Southern Range unit headed by Superintendent of Police S.S. Firoz arrested Venganoor panchayat Secretary Sreekumaran Nair and his clerk Sivakumar from the former’s house in the district.
The complainant, a hotelier from Kovalam, had earlier approached the Revenue official to get a panchayat number for a shed he had constructed to house his employees, on his resort premises. (Panchayat registration is mandatory for electrification of buildings and piped water supply connection).
The hotelier stated that the government official had demanded a bribe of Rs.15,000 and few bottles of a costly variety of foreign liquor to get the building registered on the local body rolls.
A team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) R. Sukeeshan rigged the recording devices on the complainant’s person.
A government official, posing as the complainant’s elder brother, accompanied the ‘wired subject’ to the official’s house as an ‘independent State witness.’
Investigators in plainclothes were on a stake out in front of the house and closely monitored the process.
They entered the official’s house and arrested him and his subordinate.
Moments before the arrest, the complainant ventured out and signalled to the plainclothes men that the marked currency notes he was issued by the VACB had been received by the accused officials.
The VACB said the suspects would be produced before the court on Friday.