Five customs officials arrested on bribery charge

Five customs officials arrested on bribery charge

They were collecting money for releasing imported goods

Five customs officials arrested on bribery charge

Anti-Corruption Branch sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested five Superintendents of Customs at Kempegowda International Airport on charges of graft.

The arrested are Narasimha Swamy S G, N Sundaram, V Visveswara Bhat, V Prem Kumar and K R Somasunder, posted in the import section of the customs.

The CBI also arrested three touts who were operating on instructions from customs officials. On credible information, the CBI team conducted a raid at the airport's import section of customs on March 16 evening. CBI officials found that five superintendents were collecting bribes from clearing house agents through touts for clearing files to release imported goods at the import section terminals.

The imported goods included daily couriers received at the section. The CBI officials seized Rs 75,000 in cash from the touts. The CBI officials detained the officials and touts and conducted searches at the premises. During the search, the officials found several incriminating records which indicated collection of bribes from clearing house agents.

“It was found that the officials, through the touts, were demanding Rs 5 per courier and more money for other goods. The customs officials would clear the parcel only after the touts received the bribe on their behalf. This seemed to be going on for a long time. The section collect around Rs 1 lakh as bribe to clear all the goods,'' an official said.

The CBI Bengaluru registered two separate cases (RC 6(A)/2016 and RC 7(A)/2016) on March 17 under IPC section 120-B and under sections 7, 8 and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The officials and touts were arrested on Friday and will be produced before the Special CBI Court on Saturday, the official said. The CBI conducted searches at residences and other premises belonging to the accused officials for further details about their assets.