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Sports donations used for money laundering

An investigation by the state lokayukta has found that an administration initiative to raise money for sports promotion in Lalitpur, 385 km from Lucknow, was a money laundering scheme.

lucknow Updated: Jun 09, 2011 02:31 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh

An investigation by the state lokayukta has found that an administration initiative to raise money for sports promotion in Lalitpur, 385 km from Lucknow, was a money laundering scheme.

A report on the matter was sent to the state government on Tuesday and action was sought against two officials, said lokayukta justice (retd) NK Mehrotra.

The idea to raise donations from the district officials was floated by the Lalitpur district administration during a meeting held in January 2010, chaired by the then district magistrate Ranvir Prasad.

It was estimated that Rs 50 lakh could be raised through such donations within a month.

The amount raised was around Rs 1.34 lakh.

The administration was banking on the excess income of district officials through graft and had set targets accordingly.

The chief development officer was asked to pay Rs 3 lakh, the additional district magistrate, the superintendent of police and engineers in the irrigation department, Rs 2 lakh each.

The amount was to be deposited with the “sports promotion committee” in a particular bank account.

The officials, though, raised the money from other government employees.

The assistant manager, regional transport, installed a donation box in his office and within three days, R97,500 was deposited in it. The executive engineer in the irrigation department raised Rs 33,000 similarly.

The lokayukta took up the case following a complaint by Rakesh Nangal, an employee of the sports department, in April 2010.

Mehrotra told HT though the officers claimed that they raised the money through donations, its source was not clear.

“I have dispatched a report to the state government demanding action against district sports officer Raj Kumar and regional transport officer RK Singh,” he said.

“I have also urged the state to frame a sports promotion policy.”

In his report to the lokayukta in April 2010, Prasad had said sportsmen and sports clubs in Bundelkhand were in a pitiable condition.

“The state did not give any assistance to promote sports,” he had said.

“Left with no option, I urged the officials to donate to the account of district sports promotion committee. I did not set any target, the district sports officer did it on his own.”