In searches carried out at a club of central government officers in the heart of New Delhi over the past two days, the CBI has recovered “personal” documents related to a top IAS officer of the Union Territory cadre apart from those of several serving and retired bureaucrats. These documents, which include details of alleged hawala transactions and passports of some officials, were found in a cupboard belonging to the club caterer.
The searches, conducted Wednesday and Thursday at the Palika Services Officers Institute (PSOI) in Chanakyapuri following registration of a corruption case, have led to the recovery of 20 Rolex luxury watches, Rs 80 lakh in cash and Rs 1.6 crore worth jewellery from a cupboard in the office of caterer Rakesh Tiwari who runs a canteen at the PSOI.
In a similar search Wednesday, the agency had recovered Rs 2.86 crore cash.
The CBI also came across documents that show alleged hawala transactions to the tune of several crores of rupees. Sources said the agency suspects that several officers were using Tiwari’s services to transfer funds illegally. The agency claims to have evidence of some officers using Tiwari to influence CBI cases registered against them. In this regard, the CBI, sources said, is already examining the alleged role of some of its anti-corruption officers.
Incidentally, the top IAS officer, whose “personal” documents have been recovered, once faced a CBI probe but could not be prosecuted after the government refused sanction. The officer was also caught in the tug-of-war between the Centre and the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government immediately after the AAP came to power.
Sources said the searches also led to recovery of the passport of an IAS officer of the UT cadre who took voluntary retirement.
Tiwari, who ran the CBI canteen until over a year ago, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly attempting to dilute a corruption case probe in return for a bribe of Rs 35 lakh. He was held while receiving Rs 15 lakh, the second instalment of the bribe, from a hawala dealer of Delhi, the CBI said.
On Thursday, the agency arrested Neeraj Raja Kochar, owner of Viraj Profiles, who was allegedly using Tiwari’s services to influence CBI officers probing a corruption case against an Indian Revenue Service officer, Vivek Batra, in which Kochar is also an accused.