CBI nabs another Mumbai IT officer in Rs.15 mn bribe case

Monday, April 19, 2010

THANE/MUMBAI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday nabbed a senior Income Tax official in connection with the ongoing probe into the Rs.15 million bribery case against Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Sumitra Banerjee, an official said.

Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Anjali Bambole was nabbed and charged with receiving Rs.1 million as the bribe amount March 29 from a Thane-based builder M.B. Shinde. Bambole was allegedly getting part of the total Rs.20 million demanded by her boss, Banerjee.

Bambole, an assistant commissioner of IT-Circle 3, Thane, was the officer who had conducted the survey of the firm of the builder and discovered that he had an outstanding of around Rs.25 crore.

The CBI has uncovered Rs.600,000 in cash, 3 plots of land in Panvel, neighbouring Raigad district, 3 plots in Nagpur and a flat in the upmarket Andheri suburb of Mumbai, after raiding Bambole’s premises, an official said late this evening.

In the ongoing probe into the riches of Sumitra Banerjee and her husband Subrato, the CBI has traced 2 more lockers, besides one detected during the initial searches.

A locker at the IDBI Bank here resulted in the recovery of Rs.5.9 million cash and jewellery whose value is yet being ascertained.

A search Sunday also led the CBI to the discovery of another Rs.4.6 million in cash, a large number of foreign currency notes, a flat in Chembur, a flat in Pune and even a flat in Malaysia.

The Mumbai flats alone are said to be worth around Rs.20 million.

In what is considered the first ever case of a government official stashing cash abroad, the CBI has found bank accounts in Sumitra Banerjee’s name in OCBC Bank Singapore and in Malaysia with deposits running into several crore.

The accused - currently in CBI custody till April 27 - also owns jewellery worth Rs.5 million and bank fixed deposits worth Rs.1.6 million.

The CBI also searched the offices of the Banerjees’ chartered accountant K.B. Amlani and have seized more incriminating documents from there.

The CBI investigations revealed that Sumitra Banerjee, a 1992 Indian Revenue Services officer, had earlier demanded a Rs.40 million bribe from Shinde.

His firm was found to have a tax liability of Rs.25 crore, on the basis of a ‘survey’ carried out by her junior Anjali Bambole last March 24.

Later, the bribe amount was slashed down to Rs.15 million to which the builder-complainant Shinde agreed.

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