Fresh confirmation of the corruption allegation against IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar emerged on Friday as Thane police arrested a private detective turned blackmailer who received Rs 1 crore to cover-up evidence of corruption.
Private detective Satish Mangle alleged to have provided the audio tapes to the television channels that unmasked Mopalwar â€“Chairman and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation- that resulted in his suspension.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked Mopalwar to step aside pending inquiry into his conduct.
Before the scandal, Mopalwar was given in-charge to implement the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Highway, Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, which is Chief Minister Fadnavis' dream project.
Mangle said to have demanded Rs 10 crore from Mopalwar to stop release of more audio tapes on his misconduct. He was supposed to receive Rs 1 crore of that amount on Friday in Thane.
Acting on a tip-off, police caught Mangle red-handed as he received the money. "We arrested him in Thane," police commissioner Parambir Singh said. They also seized video tapes showing the detective demanding Rs 7 crore from Mopalwar.
Mangle said to have mediated the divorce of Mopalwar and his ex-wife and later used his personal relationship to extort money from both.
Last year, the detective demanded Rs 56 lakh from Mopalwar through his associates at the MSRDC headquarters in Bandra. A report had been filed against him at the Bandra police station for the extortion attempt.
In July, Mangle gave an audio tape to the news channels in which Mopalwar was negotiating Rs 4 crore to allot a plot in Borivali to on Jal Mehta.
However, the commissioner of Konkan Revenue Division said he did not receive application for the plot and clarified that no such deal had taken place.