A nephew of an accused policeman was arrested Saturday from his residence in Gandhidham of Kutch for allegedly handling money in the Mundra extortion and corruption case.
The arrested Kripalsinh Vaghela has been accused of handling the money that was given to his uncle Kiritsinh Zala, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) who was then attached to the Cybercrime police station in Bhuj.
Police raided Zala’s residence in Gandhidham on Saturday and detained Vaghela. The 26-year-old who was later arrested is the son of Zala’s sister and used to live with the ASI’s family.
“Investigation has revealed that Vaghela used to handle financial transactions of Kiritsinh and Shailendrasinh alias Bhanubha Sodha, another accused in the case. Investigation has revealed that Vaghela had collected Rs 1 crore cash, which was extortion and bribe money, from an angadia firm in Gandhidham on behalf of Kiritsinh in connection with this case,” Samat Varotariya, deputy superintendent of police (DySP) of Tharad division in Banaskantha and the investigation officer (IO) in the case, told The Sunday Express. Varotariya added that Vaghela works in a salt company.
Zala, three other policemen of the Cybercrime police station, Sodha and one Pankil Mohta have been booked for allegedly extorting Rs 3.75 crore from Gandhidham-based businessman Anil Pandit after intercepting a truck that was loaded with imported areca nuts worth Rs 1.04 crore. The truck was loaded from Pandit’s godown in Mundra and was headed for Delhi in April.
Mohta, who is also a businessman based in Gandhidham and a friend of Pandit, had surrendered at the Mundra police station after an FIR was lodged on October 16. He is currently in police custody.
Zala and the three accused policemen were suspended in July this year and transferred to south Gujarat region, days after Pandit gave an application to Border Range Inspector General of Police in Bhuj on June 27.
As per the FIR, Mohta had sent Rs 85 lakh in bribe to Zala’s residence and deposited Rs 1.47 crore in Sodha’s account via an angadia firm. The three policemen and Sodha are still on the run.