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CBI books own officer for Rs. 5 cr extortion bid

CBI books own officer for Rs. 5 cr extortion bid

New Delhi: A year after the country's premier investigative agency raided its own headquarters and registered a corruption case against its erstwhile Special Director, Rakesh Asthana, the CBI has now registered a case against one of its own inspectors for trying to extort Rs 5 crore from a Gujarat-based businessman.

The CBI has booked Sunil Kumar Nair, currently posted at the Anti-Corruption Branch, Shillong for threatening a Gujarat-based entrepreneur with raids by central law enforcement agencies and subsequently extorting crores, while the former was posted at the CBI's ACB in Gandhinagar.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Nair was posted in Gandhinagar from 2013 to 2018. Just before being transferred out in April of 2018, Nair allegedly conspired with Kirit Madhubhai Paladiya, a private person to extort money from the complainant, Shailesh Bhatt.

Officials here said that CBI sleuths also conducted raids at the premises of both Nair and Paladiya in six locations in Gandhinagar and Surat, from where several incriminating evidentiary materials were recovered.

The CBI has alleged that Nair called Bhatt several times from the office landline and asked him to appear at the agency offices. When Bhatt along with his business associates met with Nair, the latter threatened to bring action against the complainant for purported illegal bitcoin dealings with one Dhawal Mawani.

Nair also allegedly threatened Bhatt with raids by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department for purportedly earning black money and asked Bhatt to pay him an amount of Rs 10 crore, which he then brought down to Rs 5 crore.

The central agency has alleged that Bhatt subsequently paid Rs 4.6 crore to Nair through Kirit Paladiya.

A preliminary enquiry by the agency found that at the time Nair was posted in Gandhinagar, no cases or criminal complaints pertaining to bitcoins were ever assigned to him. Moreover, the agency has also confirmed that the complainant was in no way under the scanner of probe agencies, neither as an accused nor as a witness. While the alleged transaction took place in 2018, the CBI initiated a preliminary enquiry in the matter in 2019 and now after having filed an FIR, Nair continues to remain as an Inspector at the agency's ACB in Shillong.

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