A joint commissioner of sales tax and his accomplice were arrested on Sunday by the Maharashtra ACB for demanding a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from a developer.
Ramdas Shinde allegedly sent a fake sales tax notice to the complainant, while his accomplice Irfan Bhopali acted as a mediator, the police said.
According to the Raigad unit of the ACB, the developer has several projects in Panvel. “He received a notice issued by an assistant commissioner to pay the penalty of VAT tax from 2006 to 2008,” said an ACB officer.
The complainant showed the notice to Bhopali, who would help developers in their sales tax-related jobs. He said the penalty would be in crores.
“The complainant then went to meet the assistant commissioner in his office, and was shocked to know that the notice was not issued by him,” the officer said.
Unaware of this development, Bhopali told the developer that Shinde could help them.
The officer said Shinde demanded Rs60 lakh to cancel the notice. “After some haggling, they settled on Rs20 lakh. The complainant then approached us following which we laid a trap and arrested Bhopali accepting the money on Shinde’s behalf,” the officer said.