In a rare case of a ‘reverse trap’, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested two persons for allegedly giving a bribe of Rs 60,000 to a Talathi, to persuade the latter against taking action in a case of illegal sand excavation.
A team from the Pune unit of the ACB on Tuesday arrested the two men, identified as Tukaram Kisan Pawale (52) and Dhondiba Maroti Waghmode (26), both residents of Burkegaon in Haveli tehsil. The 50-year-old complainant in the case, the Talathi for Burkegaon village, had approached the ACB after Waghmode allegedly offered him a bribe of Rs 60,000. The Talathi had also a sent a report in this regard to the tehsildar of Haveli a few days ago.
After a primary ‘negotiation’, Tuesday was fixed as the date to pay the bribe, and ACB sleuths laid a trap at the Talathi’s office.
Pawale was arrested “red-handed”, while he was allegedly handing over the money to the complainant on behalf of Waghmode, who was arrested later. An offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the two at Lonikand police station.
“These kinds of reverse traps are very rare. The last one was in Panhala in Kolhapur district… Along with appealing to people to approach us with complaints of corruption, we are also urging public servants to approach us if they are being offered money,” said an ACB officer. The ACB can be reached at 020-26122134, 26132802 and 26050423. The WhatsApp number for the Pune unit is 7875333333, and for Mumbai unit is 9930997700.