INDIA. Mumbai: In a significant development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has apprehended Superintendent of Customs Nitin Sharma, formerly an Inspector & Dock Examiner at Mundra Port, and a private individual, Shubham Sharma, on charges of soliciting a bribe from a Customs House Agent operating at Mundra Port in Gujarat.
The arrest occurred on Friday when the accused were caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs. Two lakh from the complainant, Customs House Agent Abhay Narayan Singh, a Mumbai resident handling Customs clearance operations at Mundra Port.
The subsequent searches conducted at Singh’s premises, both in Mundra and Jamnagar, led to the discovery of Rs. 9.50 lakh in cash and incriminating documents, according to a statement by the CBI.
The case, registered under FIR No. RC0292023A0018 dated September 13, originated from a complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Jamnagar against Nitin Sharma. He had served as the Inspector & Dock Examiner at Mundra Port from July 2022 until July of this year when he was assigned as Superintendent of Customs in Jamnagar.
Sharma faced accusations of demanding Rs. Seven lakh from Abhay Narayan Singh and menacingly warning that if his demands were not met, he would obstruct the smooth functioning of Singh’s operations as a Customs House Agent, potentially leading to delays in clearing clients’ consignments at the Container freight stations.
The accused, Nitin Sharma, was pressuring Brijeshkumar Singh, a clerk working with Abhay Narayan Singh, and Ashish Singh, the manager, through WhatsApp messages to meet his financial demands. Subsequently, the CBI set up a sting operation and apprehended Nitin Sharma and Shubham Sharma while they were in the act of receiving the bribe.
The charges are being brought under Section 07 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (as amended in 2018), and the accused individuals are to be presented before a competent court in Ahmedabad.
In a separate case, the CBI also arrested Revenue Inspector Ashok Kumar, employed by the Jammu Cantonment Board, for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh from the complainant Vinod Ratanlal Sharma.
During the searches conducted at Ashok Kumar’s premises, the CBI recovered Rs. 6.5 lakh in cash and property documents.
This case, registered under No. RC0042023A0009 dated September 13, was initiated after a complaint alleged that Ashok Kumar had sought a bribe of Rs. 2 lakh from the complainant to prevent his eviction from a residential quarter and to secure an allotment entry in his mother’s name in the records.
The complainant had been residing in a residential quarter within Jammu Cantonment since 1991, and an eviction order had been issued by the Jammu Cantonment Board to the complainant’s mother on August 23. The CBI apprehended Ashok Kumar while he was accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh during a sting operation.