New Delhi: CBI on Friday seized nearly 18 kilograms of gold valuing over Rs 4.5 crore from the lockers of an official of Gas Authority of India Limited during searches in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, in connection with graft allegations. The sources said it was investigating allegations of corruption against a contractual clerk Shashikant Pandey who had demanded Rs 20,000 from a land owner whose land was taken by GAIL for laying down a gas pipeline in Rudrapur area.
When the owner approached CBI, the agency carried out a trap operation apprehending Pandey when he was allegedly receiving the bribe from the complainant. The sources said that during searches at the office of Pandey, the agency recovered cash of Rs six lakhs. During the questioning, Pandey also named GAIL official Bhagwat Sagar Ojha who was allegedly his partner in the crime. They said that during searches at the bank lockers of Ojha, CBI sleuths recovered gold worth 18 kilograms and five kilograms of silver.
The sources said the agency is also carrying out searches at his premises. Ojha and Pandey have been taken into custody as the agency might slap a disproportionate assets case against them as well for amassing wealth beyond known sources of their income. The sources said both would be produced before a court in Dehradun soon.