The CBI on Monday said it has registered a case against an Agriculture Ministry official and private individuals on a charge of importing agricultural produce without proper tests and using fake papers.
The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at 26 locations, including Delhi and Kolakta, in connection with the case and seized around Rs 2.15 crore, post office deposit documents pertaining to investment of Rs 32 lakh, documents showing investment in properties in Delhi, Jharkhand, Bihar and Kolkata, gold and silver jewellery worth around Rs 30 lakh, bank balance of Rs 44 lakh and fixed deposits totalling around Rs 5 lakh from the government official’s residence.
The CBI lodged the case against Plant Protection Officer R.K. Shashihar posted at Kolkata’s Regional Plant Quarantine Station under the Ministry, Tanweer Anwer Rahman of ITT Shipping, Sanjay Choubey of Innovative Pest and Property Management Sciences and Anurag Tulshan — all based in Kolkata — and other unidentified persons.
The agency seized incriminating documents, including “fake and fabricated phyto-sanitary certificates of different countries”, hard discs and laptops.
“The accused, in connivance with various importers and shipping agents, were allowing agricultural and plant produce to be imported without proper test and on forged phyto-sanitary certificates of various countries, after obtaining huge illegal gratification,” an official said.
“Searches were conducted at 26 locations at residential and office premises of certain officials of the quarantine station, premises of shipping/clearing agents, importers based in Kolkata and employees of other private entities. Further investigation is on,” he added.