EPFO Regional Commissioner arrested in Rs 14.5 lakh bribe case

EPFO Regional Commissioner arrested in Rs 14.5 lakh bribe case

A Regional Commissioner of Employees Provident Fund Organisation and six others were today arrested by CBI in Chennai in an alleged bribery case involving a major educational organisation.

CBI sources said Regional Commissioner E S Durga Prasad, two Enforcement officers Elumalai and Manikandan, alleged conduit Sudalai Muthu, his manager Suryanarayana, alleged bribe giver Sengottian, a friend of Prasad, Raja were arrested in connection with the case in which Saveetha Group of Institutions has also been named. No immediate reaction was available from the group.

The sources said Durga Prasad has allegedly demanded Rs 25 lakh as illegal gratification for favouring the educational group, running a number of colleges and a university in Tamil Nadu, in a matter of subterfuge of wages worth rupees several crore for the purpose of deduction of provident of its employees.

Early this morning, Prasad had allegedly received the bribe money from Muthu after it was passed on to him by Sengottian. Prasad was taken into custody when he was going somewhere in a Scorpio SUV driven by his friend Raja.

It is alleged that Muthu, through whom the bribe was given to Prasad, had taken a cut of Rs 50,000 from the first installment of Rs 15 lakh of the promised bribe amount and handed over remaining Rs 14.5 lakh to Prasad.

Rs 14.5 lakh allegedly taken by Prasad and Rs 40,000 of the Rs 50,000 taken by Muthu has been recovered by the team, the sources said.

During their questioning, some of the accused have said the remaining Rs 10 lakh of the bribe has been received by Enforcement Officers-Elumalai and Manikandan--who were handling the case and have been arrested, sources said.

"Searches were conducted at the residence & office chamber of Regional Commissioner and also 18 other places including the premises of the conduit which led to recovery of several incriminating documents and property documents. The searches are still continuing," a CBI spokesperson said.

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