In an unprecedented action, Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) sleuths on Friday evening conducted searches at the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) Madurai office hours after arresting an officer of the agency in neighbouring Dingidul district on charges of demanding and accepting bribe from a government doctor, who is an accused in a disproportionate assets case.
The DVAC officers of Dindigul arrested Ankit Tiwari, an Enforcement Officer with the central agency, near the Kodaikanal Road Toll Collection Plaza on the Madurai-Dindigul four way lane in the early hours of Friday. The sleuths seized ₹20 lakh cash from his car, which he had allegedly received as bribe. Mr. Tiwari was then taken to the V&AC office in Dindigul for interrogation, police said.
According to sources, following a complaint received from Dr. Suresh Babu of Dindigul, the V&AC police had registered a case on Thursday. The complainant said he had worked worked as Deputy Superintendent in the Government Hospital in Dindigul. In 2018, a case of accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was booked against him.
Under such circumstances, the doctor claimed that Mr. Tiwari had contacted him a few months ago and stated that the ED would launch a probe against him in connection with the disproportionate assets case. According to Dr. Babu, the ED officer had demanded Rs three crore as bribe and assured to relieve him of the charges. However, he had refused to yield to the demand.
Thereafter Mr. Tiwari negotiated with Dr. Babu to part with ₹51 lakh. Dr. Babu, said on November 1 he had handed over ₹20 lakh in cash to Ankit Tiwari at a location on Madurai-Natham Road. Since, the ED officer wanted more money, ie, ₹31 lakh, Dr. Babu lodged a complaint with the V&AC police.
After registering a case, a team led by DSP Nagarajan directed Dr. Babu to hand over ₹20 lakh cash, containing chemical coated currency, to Mr. Tiwari. Early on Friday, the ED office received the cash from Dr. Babu at Thomiarpuram on Dindigul-Madurai highway and left the spot in his car towards Madurai.
Immediately, the DSP and his team, which was watching this from a spot, chased Mr. Tiwari’s car and after following it for about 15-20 kms, they intercepted the car at the Kodaikanal Road Toll Collection Plaza and seized the cash from the officer’s car. Later, he was taken to the Dindigul V&AC office for interrogation. Among those who questioned him were the V&AC (south zone) SP Saravanan.
Search in Madurai ED office
The team later brought Mr. Tiwari to Madurai and conducted a search at his house in Kosakulam. The team then headed to the ED office in Natchathra Nagar Third Street, P and T Nagar in Madurai and began a search operation at around 6 pm. Further investigation was on and a large posse of police personnel were guarding the ED office.