Sleuths of Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police conducted simultaneous raids on mineral development officer Jhakari Ram posted at Sheikhpura and mining inspector Birendra Prasad Yadav posted at Gopalganj on Friday, and recovered unaccounted wealth of around Rs 9.6 crore.
The morning swoop on Ram's four-storeyed house at C/2, Suraj Vihar Colony, Phase-2 at Khajpura, Ashiana Nagar in Patna yielded Rs 1.65 crore in cash. The house, from which the money was seized, is estimated to be worth Rs 1 crore.
Built in marble, it was stated to be lavishly furnished. Ram joined service in 1981 and is nearing superannuation.
EOU sleuths also recovered bank passbooks showing deposits around Rs 2.4 crore and land purchase receipts in the name of his wife and sons worth deed value of Rs 2.5 crore from Ram's house. He had bought land at Varanasi, Bhabhua and various places in Kaimur.
The market price of these properties is several times more than the price at which they were registered. Several documents pertaining to investments in life insurance policies and other places have been recovered. The raid is still going on and more seizure is expected, EOU officials said.
The raids on Yadav's residence at flat number 201, Usha Palace under Kankarbagh police station in Patna yielded bank deposits of Rs 80 lakh in various accounts belonging to him and his family members. Investments in several insurance policies have also been detected.
EOU sleuths also raided Yadav's house at Ramdayalu Nagar in Muzaffarpur city, two houses at his ancestral village Lohargama under Sakra police station in Muzaffarpur district, and houses connected of his relatives living at Sheikhpura and Vaishali.
Yadav is a relatively junior officer, who joined the state government service in 1996. The raids at all the places connected to him are still going on. The raiding teams have found indications of investments in the realty sector as well.
Additional director general of police (Headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said, "The operations were conducted after we got secret information and verified it. The investigations are still going on. The police will be following the duel legal procedure and informing their parent departments for further action.
EOU sources said, violations happen in stone, sand and mud mining. Various mafias are believed to be running their operations across the state in cahoots with government officials spanning different government departments including the police.
"As part of our anti-corruption campaign, we keep touching different government departments. Though Bihar is short on minerals, there had been reports about mines department officials allowing violations of regulations in lieu of graft. Their actions had been constantly causing a loss to the government exchequer," said EOU inspector general of police Praveen Vashista.
Cases regarding possession of disproportionate assets have been lodged against both the officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Process to inform their parent department has been started.