Former ED officer held for graft

Former ED officer held for graft

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested a former Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer on charges of receiving bribe from an accused in IPL cricket betting scam investigated by him.

J P Singh, now commissioner in customs and excise wing of the Indian Revenue Service, was apprehended following a probe on the basis of a complaint received from the ED.

According to a CBI statement, certain officers of the ED, while investigating cases of money laundering in betting, demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspects.

The CBI had conducted searches at the ED’s Ahmedabad office in 2015 after registering a case against Singh, a 2000 batch IRS officer who was then joint director in ED.

The CBI had earlier stated that Singh's father-in-law, S K S Somvanshi, a retired IRS officer of the 1978 batch, received Rs 15 crore from hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by ED.

The ED was then investigating the Rs 2,000-crore IPL betting scandal and the Rs 5,000-crore money laundering case against “hawala” operator Afroz Fatta.

In another case, the CBI arrested Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary B L Agrawal and two others in connection with a bribery case where the IAS officer tried to “settle” CBI cases against him.

Agrawal, an IAS officer of the 1988 batch, is facing a CBI probe in two cases registered in 2010 related to the period when he was health secretary in the Chhattisgarh government.

He is said to have approached Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Noida, who took him to Syed Burhanuddin. Burhanuddin claimed that he was working in the Prime Minister’s Office and would help him settle the case in his favour for Rs 1.5 crore in illegal gratification for his services.

According to the CBI FIR, a meeting was held by the trio on February 11 where Agrawal agreed to pay the amount. He sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel. Later, after he expressed his inability to send money, the other two agreed to accept 2 kg of gold as illegal gratification.

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