Two arrested in Gujarat for accepting bribe of Rs. 2.9 lakh in Rs. 2,000 notes

AHMEDABAD,Nov17: As the country struggles with the aftermath of the ban on high denomination currency — a move aimed to root out black money – two port trust officials of Gujarat have been arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs. 2.5 lakh. Another Rs. 40,000 was recovered from the home of one of them.

What has stunned the officials is that the whole amount of Rs. 2.9 lakh was in new Rs. 2,000 notes, which had been launched on November 11.

Strict cash rationing since the ban has meant that the most money that can be withdrawn by an individual in a week from a single bank account is Rs. 24,000.

Superintending Engineer P Srivivasu and Sub Divisional officer K Komtekar of the Kandla Port Trust had sought a bribe of Rs. 4.4 lakh for clearing the pending bills of a private electrical firm, said officials of Gujarat’s Anti-Corruption Bureau.
On November 15, a middleman of the two officials, Rudreshar, had accepted part of the amount, which was Rs. 2.5 lakh, from the firm.

A trap was laid by the agency and the middleman had been arrested. The agency had been tipped off by the electric firm owners who had complained about bribe being sought by KPT officials to clear their pending bills.

Later, another Rs. 40,000 was recovered from the home of Srinivasu. Officials said he had confessed that he received the money earlier, which was the balance of the deal. The ACB officials are now investigating how the currency notes had been obtained.

Despite inconveniences to the common man, the currency ban has been largely praised as an initiative to flush out hoarded black money and end terror funding through counterfeit notes. The newly launched Rs. 2000 notes have been fitted with multiple safety features which are expected to deter forgers.