CBI arrests seven in NPCC bribery case

CBI arrests seven in NPCC bribery case

(PTI File Photo)

The CBI has arrested seven persons, including two senior officers of the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) Limited, for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 40 lakh for clearing bills pertaining to the construction of BSF border outposts, officials said on Monday.

The agency has arrested Rakesh Mohan Kotwal, NPCC Zonal Manager and Latiful Pasha, Manager and five other people- Anish Baid, owner of Shree Gautam Construction Company, Binod Singhi, director in Baid's company, Ramesh Kumar, an employee in the company, Sunil Kumar, Kotwal's relative and one Dharmendra Kumar in the case, they said.

Sunil Kumar, who was allegedly receiving Rs. 25 lakh, a part of the payment of the bribe on behalf of Kotwal from Ramesh Kumar in a hotel at the posh Safdarjung Enclave area, was caught red-handed when CBI teams carried out a raid on Sunday.

Others were arrested later on the basis of questioning of the accused and information received by the agency.

The CBI had received secret information about the transaction about to take place and carried out the raids, the officials said.

Later, searches were carried out at 18 locations in Delhi, Silchar, Jalpaiguri, Guwahati and Gwalior, they said.

It is alleged that Kotwal and Pasha had demanded a bribe of Rs. 33 lakh from Baid for passing the bills for construction of Border Security Force (BSF) border outposts done by his firm, the officials said.

Baid assured Kotwal that the payment could be made once his bills are cleared. Kotwal suggested him to get the bills prepared and process them on a back date.

Kotwal also asked Baid to allegedly pay Rs. three lakh as an initial payment to his office personnel posted at the NPCC Zonal Office, Silchar in Assam, who were processing his pending bills which was made by one Swapan Das, an employee of Baid, they said.

On July 1, Kotwal further instructed Baid to transfer Rs. 40 lakh as bribe to him in Delhi, the CBI alleged.

Three days later, Baid allegedly arranged a transfer of Rs. 25 lakh to Delhi through one Vinit Agarwal, a businessman based in Assam, through a 'hawala' channel, it said.

Once money landed in Delhi, Baid allegedly informed Kotwal to make arrangements for its pickup, who in return asked his relative Sunil Kumar to visit Delhi between July 13 and 15 and pick it up, they said.

The pick up was arranged at a hotel in the Safdarjung Enclave, where the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team raided the location and arrested Sunil Kumar, who was receiving the bribe from Ramesh Kumar, an employee of Baid.