Sales tax officer Shinde, Bhopali knew each other for 13 years: ACB | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sales tax officer Shinde, Bhopali knew each other for 13 years: ACB

Following the arrest of a joint commissioner of sales tax and his accomplice in a bribery case, the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) is now probing if the accused were involved in issuing more fake notices from the department to make money.

mumbai Updated: May 11, 2015 22:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Ramdas-Shinde-the-joint-commissioner-of-sales-tax-was-arrested-by-Maharashtra-ACB-in-a-bribery-case-HT-photo
Ramdas-Shinde-the-joint-commissioner-of-sales-tax-was-arrested-by-Maharashtra-ACB-in-a-bribery-case-HT-photo

Following the arrest of a joint commissioner of sales tax and his accomplice in a bribery case, the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) is now probing if the accused were involved in issuing more fake notices from the department to make money.

Ramdas Shinde allegedly sent a fake sales tax notice to the complainant, a developer, while Irfan Bhopali acted as a mediator, the police said. “We are investigating if more people were issued similar notices,” said SP Kalgutkar, deputy superintendent of police.

Shinde and Bhopali were produced before a court that remanded them to police custody till Wednesday. “Investigations have revealed that the duo knew each other for 13 years. Shinde used three cars, of which two were registered in the name of Bhopali’s mother and one in the name of his brother,” said Kalgutkar.

Police sources said the voices of the accused will be recorded to match them with those in the videotapes, recorded by the complainant’s business partners. The videotapes were given to the anti-graft body as evidence. “The voice samples will be sent for analysis,” said Kalgutkar.

Meanwhile, the police searched Shinde’s official government quarters in Worli and found huge investments. “We are investigating the matter and he is likely to be booked in a disproportionate assets case,” said Kalgutkar.

According to the Raigad unit of the ACB, the complainant has several projects in Panvel. He received a notice by an assistant commissioner to pay the penalty on VAT from 2006 to 2008. He showed the notice to Bhopali, who would assist developers with sales tax-related matters. Bhopali said the penalty would amount to crores. When the complainant approached the assistant commissioner in his office, he found the official had not issued the notice, an ACB officer said.

Unaware of this development, Bhopali told the developer that Shinde could help him. The officer added that Shinde demanded Rs 60 lakh to cancel the notice. “After some haggling, they settled on Rs 20 lakh. The complainant approached us and we laid a trap and arrested Bhopali in Panvel for accepting the money on Shinde’s behalf,” he added.

Accused voice samples to be taken

Police sources said the voices of the accused will be recorded to match them with those in the videotapes, recorded by the complainant’s business partners. The videotapes were given to the anti-graft body as evidence.

“The voice samples will be sent for analysis,” said SP Kalgutkar, deputy superintendent of police. The police, meanwhile, searched Shinde’s official government quarters in Worli and found huge investments. “We are investigating the matter and he is likely to be booked in a disproportionate assets case,” said Kalgutkar. Shinde and Bhopali were produced before a court that remanded them to police custody till Wednesday.