Bihar transport officer accused of running a massive racket of extortion, raids

Bihar transport officer accused of running a massive racket of extortion, raids

A district transport officer (DTO) in Bihar was being raided by vigilance investigation bureau (VIB) on Thursday over suspicion that he had amassed disproportionate assets a minimum of worth ₹1.24 crore. During the raids in his Patna residences, quite ₹50 lakh in cash besides gold and silver ornaments were seized thus far , officials said.

They added that Rajnish Lal, a Bihar Administrative Service (BAS) officer, also possessed movable and immovable assets worth a minimum of ₹1.24 crore above his lawful income and therefore the refore the value of his hidden assets could increase after the continued scrutiny of documents at his three flats in Kankarbagh area within the capital and the official residence near MIT in Muzaffarpur.

Lal joined service in 1999 and was posted as DTO, Muzaffapur from February 3, 2020. On March 9 this year, he was also given additional charge of Chhapra DTO.

Lal came under scrutiny in January this year after Muzaffarpur police led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Town, Ram Naresh Paswan, raided his office over allegations of involvement in making fake registration papers for stolen vehicles.

Police found that some middlemen were conniving with DTO staff to vary the small print of engine and chassis numbers to form fake registration papers. it had been also alleged that after Lal got additional charge of DTO Chhapra, officials collected bribes from truck drivers involved in transport of illegal sand through Saran district.

The vigilance bureau learnt that a “System” and an “Entry” method was employed by Lal to run the bribery channel, helping him make crores and also acquire benami properties in Bihar and other states within a couple of years.

“During our investigation, we've encounter truck drivers speaking about the “System” method, put in situ by Lal, to extort money. We are further investigating the case from this angle,” said a vigilance officer on condition of anonymity.

“Not one truck could cross Saran without paying money to Lal. If someone tried to flee , his men wont to chase the driving force and beat him to extort money with the assistance of local police,” said Satyendra Kumar, a teamster .

A senior VIB official said the rot could run tons deeper as several registers and forged papers were seized during the raids, hinting at a wider nexus between touts and a neighborhood of state officials. Lal couldn’t be reached for comments since he's reported to be in custody of the VIB sleuths during the raids.

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