CBI seizes cash, jewels from Excise official’s house

Central Bureau of Investigation officials seized over Rs. 4.50 lakh, 30 sovereigns of gold and some property documents from the house of Ashok Raja, Superintendent of Central Excise Department here on Sunday.

According to CBI sources, the raid was conducted at his Angel Nagar residence even as Ashok Raja is said to be absconding since Friday.

Ashok Raja and his colleague were ‘trapped’ by the CBI at the office of Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax at Bibikulam on Friday evening.

The sleuths reportedly caught him red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs. 75,000 from a cable television operator, Muruganandam of Nagamalai Pudukottai.

As the CBI officials were recording their statements, an armed gang stormed the office and attacked the five-member team with wooden logs and iron rods. Two CBI sleuths sustained injuries.

The gang destroyed some of the evidence collected in connection with the bribery case and took away the bribe money.

The CBI sleuths had complained to the city police that they had found Rs. 2 lakh unaccounted cash in the office during the trap. Even that money was taken away by the gang while whisking away the two accused from the CBI custody.

The police said that the whole incident had occurred in the presence of two official witnesses during the trap.

The city police was still on the lookout for the assailants of the daring attack on the sleuths. Senior officials of CBI from Chennai were camping in Madurai for the last two days.

Meanwhile, a special team of the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch on Monday conducted a raid on the Central Excise Officers Association (CEOA) school in Madurai and seized documents relating to its financial transactions.

Since the prime suspects were office bearers of the CEOA School, a search was conducted on their premises and school.

The CBI’s Superintendent of Police met the Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise in Madurai to register strong protest against the attack and seek a detailed enquiry into alleged irregularities.

Many officials managed to remain in the same posting for several years which was one of the reasons for certain corrupt practices in the department, the official said.

(With additional inputs from S. Vijay Kumar in Chennai)

Police yet to trace the official who was rescued away by gang during questioning

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 10:53:36 PM |

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