THE THANE unit of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested a ward officer from Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation Tuesday on charges of accepting Rs 25,000 as bribe from a Mira Road-based vada pav vendor. The 52-year-old ward officer, Dilip Jagdale, had allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh from the complainant to not take action against his stall.
During searches at his house, the ACB found that Jagdale has two flats in Bhayander. Jewellery and other household articles worth Rs 48 lakh were found from his house. The ACB further found that a total of 24 accounts were operational in different banks in the name of his wife and two sons. “We also found that Jagdale owns two shops in Mira Road area, farm land in Dhule in his wife’s name, two cars and a bike,” said an officer.
In the present case, said an officer from the ACB, Jagdale, in charge of ward no 6, had threatened the vada pav vendor that if he did not pay him Rs 1 lakh, he would initiate proceedings against him that would lead to his stall being confiscated by the civic officials.
The vendor then approached the Thane ACB in the first week of February. He also negotiated with Jagdale, who ultimately settled for a bribe of Rs 25,000, officers said.
It was decided that the money would exchange hands in a hotel near Mira Road’s Rasal Mall on Tuesday.
Accordingly, a trap was laid and the ACB officers, led by sub-inspector Anjali Andhale, arrested Jagdale while allegedly accepting the bribe.
Based on the probe, the officer said, they might add sections of disproportionate assets charge against Jagdale, as it appeared that his net worth was disproportionate to his known sources of income as a ward officer.