The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday arrested the chief executive officer of the state-owned Aarey dairy at Goregaon (East), for taking a bribe.
LR Bhosale, who is also the assistant agricultural officer in the Aarey scheme, was trapped by the ACB while accepting a bribe of Rs1 lakh to award a contract in the sprawling Aarey milk colony to a private contractor.
According to the ACB’s press release, the complainant, a contractor, had submitted separate tenders for the garden restaurant and water sport (boating) facilities to be set up in the colony. All of Aarey milk colony, and the lake and the garden restaurant in particular, are major tourist attractions. Contracts worth crores are offered every year for both the facilities.
Sources in the ACB said the complainant had won the tender for the garden restaurant through the legitimate process but Bhosale, who is the signing authority for the contract, refused to sign unless he was paid Rs5 lakh.
The contractor paid him Rs4 lakh as the first installment. However, Bhosale said he would not sign the contract until he is paid the balance, ACB sources said. Fed up, the contractor approached the ACB with a complaint.
After a preliminary inquiry, the ACB advised the contractor to pay the outstanding amount to Bhosale on Thursday. Officers from the ACB, dressed in plain clothes, had laid a trap at Bhosale’s office in advance and had marked the currency to be given to him.
As soon as Bhosale accepted the money, the waiting ACB officers walked into his office and arrested him. The ACB is investigating the officer’s conduct and scrutinising his bank accounts to find out what he did with the Rs4 lakh he had taken earlier.
Bhosale is the first Class I state government official to be arrested by the ACB this year. Last year, the bureau had arrested eight Class I officers in graft cases in Mumbai. These include civic high rise committee member Shailesh Mahimtura and senior inspector Arun Khanvilkar from the Anti-Terrorism Squad.