CBI arrests 2 Customs officers for demanding bribe from company to release seized silver

The CBI has arrested two Customs officers for allegedly demanding a bribe of over Rs 19 lakh from a private company in Maharashtra for releasing 60-kg silver seized by them, agency officials said on Thursday.
The CBI has alleged that Customs Assistant Commissioner (Preventive) A P Bandekar had demanded Rs 15 lakh and Customs Superintendent (Rummaging and Intelligence) Niraj K Singh had sought Rs four lakh from the company for releasing the seized cargo.
The two officers have been sent to CBI custody till Saturday, they said.
“It was alleged that a Kolhapur (Maharashtra) based private company had purchased 74 kg of silver from a private company based at Ahmedabad on October 05, 2020. Out of the same, 60 kg silver in two packages were transported from Gujarat to Maharashtra. It was further alleged that the said 60 kg silver was allegedly seized on October 06, 2020 by the Customs, R&I, Mumbai,” CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said.
The owner of the company approached the CBI with the allegations that he had attended an enquiry before the Superintendent (R&I) at the New Customs House in Mumbai.
“It was further alleged that the Superintendent (Singh) took the complainant to the office of Assistant Commissioner, Customs(P) (Bandekar) who demanded bribe from the complainant for release of the seized silver,” Joshi said.
After getting the information, a CBI team laid a trap and waited at the site where the bribe was to be exchanged, they said.
Singh who came to receive a part payment of Rs two lakh was nabbed by the team on the spot and later Bandekar was also taken into custody, they said.
“Search at the office and residence of both the accused were conducted, which led to recovery of incriminating documents,” he said.