CBI raids tourism officials for conspiring with hotel owners in Kerala and other states

The CBI conducted searches across 15 different locations across Bihar, Chennai, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh in connection with corruption cases against two government employees
CBI raids tourism officials for conspiring with hotel owners in Kerala and other states

During searches at 15 different locations across Bihar, Chennai, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recovered nearly Rs 1.07 Crore in cash. The searches were in connection with two different corruption cases levelled against government employees. Reportedly, the officials and agents were under the CBI scanner over the allegations for quite a while.

The first disproportionate case has been registered against S Ramakrishnan, Assistant Director, India Tourism, Chennai (Ministry of Tourism, Government of India) and others on the allegations that Ramakrishnan along with the Regional Director Sanjay Watts, used to conduct periodic inspections at various hotels for issuing a licence and star status. Conspiring with hotel owners, they obtained their inappropriate advantage. It was further alleged that the accused, with the bribe amount of nearly Rs 7 lakh, was proceeding to Palani near Madura, where CBI officials intercepted him.

The CBI officials conducted a raid following details recovered from the mobile phone of Sanjay Watts. The officials examined his phone to collect evidence by blocking his car while heading towards Kochi International Airport. They have recovered evidence relating to bribery, including his contacts with the agents and bribery deal from his iPhone. The officials raided various places and recovered Rs 55 lakh.

The other disproportionate case was registered against Ravish Kumar, Chief Engineer of the Indian Railways, Hajipur (Bihar). It was over the allegations that Ravish acquired enormous movable and immovable properties in his name and his family members while he was posted in Indian Railways from January 2009 to October 2020 (check period).

The CBI said, “It was further alleged in the FIR that during the said period, the accused received a total income of Rs 104 lakh from his salary and Rs 40 lakh income of his wife. During the period, his total expenses were allegedly Rs 67.41 lakh. Thus, his likely saving during the check period was allegedly Rs 76.59 lakh.”

The CBI claims that it was during the said period that Ravish Kumar amassed illicit wealth, including both movable and immovable assets at various places in his name and his family, to the tune of Rs 340.69 lakh. The probe agency added, “It was further alleged that during check period, disproportionate assets have been computed as Rs 76.59 lakh (likely savings) subtracted from Rs.340.69 lakh (total assets) — equalling Rs 264.10 lakh — that is approximately 183.40% of the net income, which is disproportionate to his known sources of the income.”

During the search operations conducted at the premises of Ravish Kumar, his relatives led to the recovery of cash of Rs 76 lakh, documents related to investment in around 15 properties, investment in jewellery, banks and several other documents.

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