The Anti-Corruption Bureau of CBI on Sunday searched the Chembur residence of Sumitra Banerji, additional commissioner of I-T, Thane, who was arrested along with her husband Subroto, on Saturday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from a builder.
In an obvious indication of the couple having amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, the CBI team said it found large amounts of cash both in Indian and foreign currencies, jewellery worth lakhs of rupees and documents relating to several properties in India and abroad.
Sources said the high-flying I-T official was found in possession of foreign currency belonging to 25 countries and has flats worth crores in Malaysia. The couple has also been found to have overseas bank accounts where, CBI suspects, they parked their money to avoid raising suspicion at home.
At the time of going to press, the searches at the couple’s home and the scrutiny of their bank accounts and property documents were still on. “We are still in the process of calculating the wealth the duo has amassed. There is a bank locker which we have not yet opened. There is more scrutiny on the anvil and more skeletons could tumble out of their cupboards,” said a senior CBI officer who was part of the raids.
Meanwhile, CBI sleuths have questioned a chartered accountant, identified as K B Amlani, in connection with the case. Amlani is suspected to be the middleman who fixed deals for Sumitra. It was through Amlani, CBI suspects, that tax evaders got in touch with Sumitra, who facilitated their escape from I-T department’s clutches for a bribe.
Sumitra had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 4 crore, which was later reduced to Rs 1.70 crore, to fraudulently reduce the builder’s tax liability of Rs 25 crore to just Rs 1.05 crore.
What CBI found in the banerji home
• Cash: Rs 46 lakh
• Foreign Currency: Rs 5 lakh (belonging to 25 countries)
• Flats: 1 in Malaysia, 1 in Pune, 2 in Chembur
• Bank accounts: Deposits worth Rs 2 crore each in OCBC bank in Singapore and Malaysia
• Four bank accounts in IDBI Mumbai, with deposits worth Rs 35 lakh
• Fixed deposit: Worth Rs 20 lakh
• Cars: Two high-end models of Toyta Corrolla and Skoda
• Jewellery: worth Rs 50 lakh