IRS arrest by ACB in opium racket case: Middlemen under scanner
Jaipur: A day after Rajasthan anti-corruption bureau (ACB) arrested Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Shashank Yadav with a cash amount of Rs 16.32 lakh, sources said that many middlemen are also under the agency’s scanner.
IRS Yadav is accused of forcing over 6000 opium farmers of Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh, Kota, and Jhalawar to pay bribes. He allegedly promised to help them get bigger plots from the government for opium farming by issuing favourable opium quality reports. ACB suspects that many middlemen were involved in this racket including some posted in the government opium labs.
Shashank Yadav is posted as chief controller of factories and general manager of the opium factories in Gazipur (Uttar Pradesh) and Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh). He has the additional charge as the GM of the Neemuch factory.
Yadav’s car was intercepted near Hanging Bridge in Kota around 10.35 pm on Saturday. The surprise check allegedly found Yadav in possession of Rs 16,32,410. He couldn’t give any satisfactory answers to the questions related to the source of money. He was taken into custody and then arrested.
ACB officials said that Yadav was under surveillance after some complaints were received against him. As per the complaints, he was taking money from farmers through some middlemen. The farmer who paid the money were being provided favourable opium quality reports which qualified them for bigger plots for opium cultivation. The payments to the farmers are also made based on the quality. The middlemen took Rs 60,000 – Rs 80,000 from each farmer.
ACB waited for the IRS officer to enter Rajasthan to initiate legal action against him. Acting on a tip-off, his car was interpreted in Kota and searched.
“Many middlemen were involved in this racket. We have launched an investigation against them,” said an ACB officer.