Mumbai: CBI sleuths use unique way to trap income tax officials who demanded bribe over WhatsApp calls to avoid being caught
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials had recently used a unique method to trap two inspectors working at the Investigation Unit of the Income Tax Department at Ballard Pier in Mumbai for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 15 lakh from a person. The complainant had told the victim that the accused officials speak to him over WhatsApp calls only as calls cannot be recorded on the phone. The CBI team then arranged for witnesses and asked the complainant to call the officials over WhatsApp and put the calls on speaker mode. The CBI team that was armed with a digital voice recorder then recorded all the calls in which the accused income tax officials discussed about demanding bribe money.

FPJ on Saturday had reported that CBI had arrested tax inspectors Dilip Kumar and Ashish Kumar and were on the lookout for another inspector in connection with the case.

According to the CBI, the accused IT officials had allegedly demanded undue advantage of Rs 15 lakh for helping the complainant, who is the Managing Director of a logistics company, in the investigation being conducted by the Income Tax Authorities. The complainant, who did not wish to pay the bribe, approached the CBI and lodged a complaint against the government officials.

After verifying the allegations made by the complainant, the CBI officials laid a trap and caught two inspectors of Income Tax while accepting the bribe of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively from the complainant, officials said. The CBI officials incidentally nabbed one of the accused while he was running away at the time of his apprehension.

"The complainant had told us that the accused officials used to communicate with him over WhatsApp calls only as it is difficult to recorded internet call conversation. We then derived a strategy and arranged for independent witnesses and a digital voice recorder. We asked the complainant to make calls to the accused officials and put those calls on speaker mode. In front of the witnesses we recorded all the conversations on the voice recorded and officials were heard discussing and demanding bribe money. This evidence was good enough to proceed with the trap," said a CBI official.

Searches at two places in Mumbai and one place in Delhi at the residential and office premises of the accused were conducted by a CBI team. This led to recovery of cash of Rs 7 lakh (approximately) and incriminating documents relating to investment in commercial and residential properties from one of the accused.

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Free Press Journal