Former ED officer, aide held on graft charges

NEW DELHI: J.P. Singh, a former Joint Director with the Enforcement Directorate, was on Tuesday arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, along with his former subordinate and two others, for allegedly receiving money from several suspects in two cases of hawala and cricket betting rackets busted by his team about two years ago. Among those arrested are Mr. Singh’s former subordinate Sanjay Kumar, “bookie” Bimal Agrawal and Chandresh Patel.

A case was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2015 following a complaint from the Enforcement Directorate itself, accusing the IRS officer of indulging in corruption. An Intelligence Bureau report backed the allegations. Following searches in September 2015, the officer was shifted out of the agency along with two others. Mr. Singh allegedly committed the offence when he headed the ED’s Ahmedabad zone.

According to the CBI, he along with the then Enforcement Officer Sanjay Kumar conspired with their contacts to extort money from the suspects in the Surat-based hawala racket and the ₹2,000-crore cricket betting racket for not arresting them.

The money laundering case allegedly involved hawala operator Afroz Fatta.

In the cases said to involve thousands of crores, the accused officers had conducted extensive searches in different parts of the country, making headlines.

However, the ED received multiple complaints alleging that the officers were demanding and receiving money from the suspects.

Last year, the agency had arrested three “bookies” J.K. Arora (Delhi), Sonu Jalan (Mumbai) and Jayesh Thakkar (Ahmedabad), for allegedly operating as informers and middlemen for the IRS officer.

They would pass on information to the accused officer for conducting searches against the suspects and subsequently, raise bribery demands.