Udaipur: On Wednesday night, a growing pile of cash had policemen in Rajasthan gaping as they counted what they had seized from raids on senior government officials in Udaipur.
The stacks at the anti-corruption department's office added up to Rs. 3.8 crore. The trail led the police to senior bureaucrat Ashok Singhvi, who was arrested at around 3 am this morning for his alleged involvement in massive corruption in the mines department.
"It is one of the biggest seizures in Rajasthan," said Navdeep Singh, the chief of the anti-corruption department.
Ashok Singhvi, the Principal Secretary, and his juniors including additional director Pankaj Gehlot, allegedly had a share in the bribe money.
Over two crores in cash was found from middlemen who were allegedly delivering the money to a Chartered Accountant acting on behalf of the government officials. Raids at the homes and offices of the officials led to the rest of the cash.
The mining officials had allegedly cancelled the lease of six clay mines in Chittorgarh, belonging to a man named Sher Khan, and then demanded the money to allow their reopening.
Pankaj Gehlot had 14 bank accounts, the police found.
The raids continued through the night. A middleman was caught red-handed with more than Rs. 4 lakh in cash as he came to deliver the money at the home of a mining engineer.
"We have arrested five people - two government servants and three middlemen including a chartered account. Our searches are continuing and we may come up with more disclosures soon," said Navdeep Singh said.