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UT Police slap case against Saji Mohan

While Saji Mohan’s police custody was extended by another week by a Mumbai court following an application by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad...

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh/ Mumbai |
January 31, 2009 12:19:07 am

Ex-NCB zonal director suspended by Enforcement Directorate; police remand extended by a week

While Saji Mohan’s police custody was extended by another week by a Mumbai court following an application by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS),the Chandigarh Police slapped a criminal case against Saji Mohan on charges of embezzlement and criminal conspiracy on Friday. The case by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) was registered on a complaint lodged by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB),which alleged that they found about Rs 13.81 lakh missing from the seizures made during Saji Mohan’s tenure as Zonal Director of the NCB in Chandigarh.

The complaint lodged by Intelligence Officer R C Bodh says: “On verification of the seized contraband goods lying in the Malkhana (seizure room),it was observed that in NCB Crime No. 12/04 dated 30.12.2004,an amount of Rs 13,81,250 was seized. It was found that the container was unlocked and only an amount of Rs 49,980 was found. On perusal of the case file,it was observed that the above property of Rs 13,81,250 was handed over by Malkhana in-charge Balwinder Kumar on December 22,2008,to the then Zonal Director Saji Mohan for depositing in a State Bank of India account. Mohan has given an acknowledgement receipt to this effect. Enquiries with the bank revealed that the amount was not deposited in the SBI account till date.”

Based on this complaint,an FIR was registered against Mohan at the Sector-3 police station in Chandigarh on charges of embezzlement.

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As the amount embezzled is more than Rs 2 lakh,the matter was referred to the EOW. The EOW will now seek Mohan’s custody once he is remanded in judicial custody by the Mumbai court after ATS completes his interrogation in the drug-haul case.

According to reports from Mumbai,Mohan has allegedly told his interrogators that prior to his Mumbai arrest,he had pushed 10 kg of heroin into the market in north India in 2008. Mohan had also made contacts with two more persons,one based in Mahim and the other in Vile Parle,for pushing the drug into Mumbai.

The Maharashtra ATS is probing the route of the trafficking after Mohan was arrested on January 24 with 12 kg of Afghan heroin at a pub in Oshiwara.

A detailed report on the investigation has been sent by the ATS to the Enforcement Directorate,following which it suspended Saji Mohan,who had just joined it as a deputy director in Kochi.

A separate inquiry by the CBI is also under way in Chandigarh for the money he had allegedly embezzled from the NCB and places where he had abused his rank and office.

According to the ATS,Superintendent Balwinder Kumar of the NCB who is being questioned is still under detention and his statements are being verified. Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Parambir Singh said the two Mumbai-based people whom Mohan had identified were also being called for questioning.

Developments in case
* The interrogation of two agents — Vicky Oberoi and Haryana Police Constable Rajesh Kumar — has reportedly revealed their network. According to the ATS,a person named Sukhbir Hooda,who claims to be related to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and was caught twice by the Haryana Police for commuting in red-beacon car and posing as a government official,is the common link between all the three arrested
* The ATS is yet to get the report on the hard disk that was retrieved from Mohan’s laptop,it has already begun inquiries on certain narcotics seizure data that was stored in various e-mail drafts
* The two Police Security Constables — Navin Kumar and Devendra Pal — who were posted with Saji Mohan as there was a threat perception for him. The two constables were with Mohan during his entire tenure in Chandigarh. The ATS probe has found that they were with Mohan in all the raids during this period. The two have also gone to various other raids independently,without the sanction of their superiors which is against the rule. “We will now investigate what were these raids and how much are they involved,” said Parambir Singh,ACP (ATS).

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