Patna: Anti-corruption sleuths in Bihar arrested a corrupt engineer who was found sleeping on bundles of Indian currency notes.
The engineer posted with the rural works department has been sent to jail. Ramchandra Paswan had allegedly demanded Rs80,000 as bribe from a contractor Bablu Kumar for clearing bills for a road project. Reports said the contractor offered to pay him some cash as a gift but the engineer was bent on getting 1.5 per cent of the total project cost. The contractor then registered a complaint with the state vigilance department on June 9.
On Tuesday evening, the anti-corruption sleuths raided the engineer’s flat in East Chaparan district where he was posted. During the search operation that lasted for over an hour, the officers recovered bundles of hard currency notes totalling Rs1.10 million placed under his bed cushion.
“We have sent the engineer to jail. During interrogation, he failed to explain the source of the cash. We are carrying out raids at his other residences in Patna and other cities,” said a vigilance official wishing not to be quoted.
In June 2019, the anti-corruption bureau arrested a road construction department engineer from Patna while accepting a bribe of Rs1.4 million from a contractor. During a raid on his residence, Rs23.6 million was recovered from under the bed and cupboards.
Even more surprising incident took place in November 2019 when family members of another road construction department engineer burnt hard Indian currency notes and flushed them down the toilet in their attempt to destroy the evidence after the accused engineer was arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs1.6 million. This was the first instalment of Rs8 million bribe he had demanded for clearing bills for a Rs830 million worth road project to a construction company.
According to an official report, 918 corrupt officials have been arrested for taking bribes red-handed in the past 15 years. Of them, more than 160 have been convicted while property of 30 confiscated.