DRI ADG, two middlemen held in ₹25 lakh graft case
Ludhiana The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an additional director general (ADG) of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ludhiana, Chander Shekhar, and two middlemen, including a friend of the ADG, for taking ₹25 lakh bribe from a Delhi exporter for not implicating him in a document recovery case. The arrests were made in New Delhi.
The other two accused are Rajesh Dhanda and Anup Joshi. Shekhar’s friend Dhanda, is a prominent textile and hosiery businessman of the city with interests in Dubai; Joshi is a customs-clearing agent. The CBI has also confiscated mobile phones, a laptop, a computer and record from the ADG’s house.
The case and the bribery demand has its roots in June 2019, when the DRI, Ludhiana, had conducted a search at a private clearing agency, providing services to exporters. After this search, the exporter complained to the CBI that Joshi and Dhanda had demanded ₹3 crore on behalf of Shekhar for ensuring that he would not be implicated by the DRI, pertaining to the recovery of some documents.
The CBI had caught both the middlemen, while accepting ₹25 lakh from the complainant. Shekhar was arrested after brief questioning. At the time of the filing of this report, searches were still on at residences and offices of the arrested accused in Delhi, Noida and Ludhiana.
The ADG charge of Ludhiana is considered a plum posting, as it has jurisdiction over Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
Separate teams of the CBI reached Ludhiana on Wednesday morning, along with Shekhar and visited the DRI office in Sarabha Nagar market. Later, the teams also went to his residence, Marvel Homes, on the Ferozepur Road. So far, the officer had a clean record. In November, he had supervised a joint operation of the DRI and the army in Kashmir in which 21kg heroin was seized.
Who is Dhanda
Dhandha, a friend of the ADG, owns a hosiery factory. He is chairman of the Bhagwan Jagannath Rath Yatra Mahotsav Committee, which organises the Rath Yatra in the city each year. Sources said Dhanda had come into contact with DRI officials a few years ago, when the agency had conducted a probe into irregularities in the duty drawback scheme being availed on shipments to The Gulf countries. Dhanda used his contacts in government agencies to spread his influence in the business circle.
‘₹3 crore sought’
Hosiery factory owner, customs-clearing agent sought ₹3 crore on the officer’s behalf for not implicating him in a document recovery case of June 2019, claims CBI