When 4 CBI officers turned 'bribe facilitators' for bank fraud accused
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that a bribe-for-relief racket was being run in the agency since 2018 by leaking confidential case related information to some accused companies under bank fraud investigation, people familiar with the development said.
The agency has identified that bribes worth ₹55 lakh were paid to two of its officers – ₹30 lakh to deputy superintendent of police RK Rishi and ₹25 lakh to inspector Kapil Dhankad – in lieu of favours extended to at least three companies.
In all, nine persons have been named in the First Information Report – including four CBI officers: RK Rishi (deployed at CBI academy), Kapil Dhankad (who is posted in Bank Securities and Fraud Cell BS&FC of CBI), DSP RK Sangwan (posted in Special Crimes Unit) and Stenographer in BS&FC Sameer Kumar Singh.
According to the FIR, reviewed by HT, the four CBI officers, along with two advocates, and certain other accused have been “compromising the integrity of investigation of certain cases on extraneous pecuniary considerations”.
“The leak of sensitive case related information like raids, status of investigation, filing of chargesheet, etc helps accused persons in destroying the evidence. There is a possibility that more officers are involved in the scandal as CBI investigations are monitored at various levels and documents are usually kept in respective branches. It is to be seen how Singh was leaking the documents without anyone’s knowledge,” said an officer who didn’t want to be named.
The CBI is verifying the nature of the racket as this could be much bigger considering a large number of bank fraud cases are under investigation.
Two advocates – Arvind Kumar Gupta and Manohar Malik - have also been named as accused along with Mandeep Kaur Dhillon (additional director of a company – Shree Shyam Pulp & Board Mills Pvt Ltd) and Sujai Desai and Udai Desai of Mumbai based company Frost International Pvt Ltd.
Both Shree Shyam Pulp & Board Mills Pvt Ltd (SSPBML) and Frost International are being investigated by the premier investigating agency for defrauding banks. The case against Frost International was registered in August 2020 for cheating 14 banks of over ₹3,500 crore.
CBI FIR states that “in the case of SSPNML, RK Sangwan, who was the previous investigating officer in the case, offered and paid a bribe of ₹10 lakh in cash on behalf of Mandeep Kaur to Inspector Kapil Dhankad”. “On his part, Dhankad conveyed confidential information relating to the investigation of this case to RK Sangwan, with an intention to favour the accused,” FIR states.
It is further alleged that RK Rishi paid ₹10 lakh bribe to Dhankad on behalf of Desais of Frost International.
For facilitating the bribe, Rishi received ₹15 lakh twice through advocates Malik and Gupta to extend favours to a Chandigarh based company against which a corruption case was being investigated by CBI, the FIR adds. “In this matter, Dhankad twice received ₹2.5 lakh from Gupta for having brokered the deal through Rishi,” read the CBI FIR.
The agency FIR says about Sameer Kumar Singh that “details of investigation of many other cases, including confidential notes and directions, have been communicated by Singh to Sangwan and Rishi on pecuniary considerations to protect the interests of the accused”.
The two DSPs - RK Rishi and RK Sangwan – mainly played the role of bribe facilitators leaking the information to the companies, said an officer, requesting anonymity.
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