ED officer held for taking bribe in TN remanded in judicial custody as DVAC seizes documents

The DVAC said it was conducting a probe to find out whether Ankit Tiwari had blackmailed or threatened any other officials.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Dec 02, 2023 | 12:53 AMUpdated Dec 02, 2023 | 12:54 AM

ED officer held for taking bribe in TN remanded in judicial custody as DVAC seizes documents

After 15 hours of inquiry, the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption sleuths produced arrested Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer Ankit Tiwari before the chief judicial magistrate at Dindigul on the night of Friday, 1 December.

The magistrate sent the ED officer to judicial custody for 15 days. The vigilance officers then took Tiwari away with heavy police protection and lodged him in Madurai Central Prison.

Police being deployed at Madurai ED Office

Meanwhile, the DVAC officials continued their search at the Madurai sub-zonal ED office nearly for three hours.

According to sources, the ED officials initially denied permission to search for the office space used by Tiwari.

However, the Tamil Nadu police sought cooperation from the ED officers. Additional forces from the Tamil Nadu special police were deployed in the ED office in Madurai.

Following this, the DVAC officers were permitted to make photocopies of the documents taken from the Tiwari’s workspace. Further, they were denied access to other officers’ workspaces.

The ED, meanwhile, had called the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) for protection at the Madurai sub-zonal office.

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The modus operandi

According to a statement released by the DVAC, Tiwari contacted a government employee from Dindigul on 29 October and mentioned a case registered against him with the Dindigul DVAC, which was already disposed of.

Tiwari allegedly told the employee that instructions had been received from the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct an inquiry by the Enforcement Department in this case.

He then purportedly asked the government employee to come to the ED office in Madurai on 30 October.

When the Government employee went to Madurai, Tiwari allegedly got into his car and negotiated a bribe amount of ₹3 crore to make the case go away.

Later, he is said to have told the government employee that he had spoken to his superiors and, as per their directions, agreed to collect ₹51 lakh as a bribe.

On 1 November, the government employee gave him ₹20 lakh as the first instalment of the bribe.

Later, he intimidated the employee through WhatsApp calls and text messages, saying he should pay the full ₹51 lakh or face dire consequences.

Also read: ED raids Tamil Nadu BJP accountant over illegal sand sale case

The trap

The government employee approached the DVAC on 30 November. Following this, the DVAC Dindigul unit set a trap and arrested the ED officer while he was receiving the second instalment of ₹20 lakh.

During the search operation at the Madurai ED office, the DVAC sleuths seized several incriminating documents regarding his misconduct.

“Investigation is being done to elucidate whether he had blackmailed or threatened any other officials adopting this modus operandi and collected crores in the name of the ED,” said the DVAC in its statement.

“An inquiry will also be conducted to ascertain the involvement of other ED officials in the plot, if any. Further searches will be conducted at the places associated with Ankit Tiwari,” it added.

Following this, the Central Reserve Police and CISF were called in for security at the ED headquarters at Shastri Bhavan in Chennai.