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Officials prefer bribe money via GPay in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, September 3 (BPNS)

Gone are those days when corrupt government officials would demand paper money for carrying out a service. Now, out of fear of anti-corruption officials, they have switched to electronic cash. There are also instances in which some officials demand ATM cards for receiving that unaccounted money and spend the same as per their convenience. It was during Operation Jasoos of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) that the new trend of corruption among government officials got revealed. The statewide raid was conducted at selected regional transport offices and agents’ offices.

“The motor vehicle department personnel demand bribes for various services from the public through agents. At some places, applications got shelved for lame reasons and people were forced to run pillar to post to demand bribes,” said Manoj Abraham, VACB director.

According to him, VACB received complaints that unaccounted money is being handed over through various means to officials for executing services like vehicle licenses, vehicle clearance certificates, learner licenses, fancy number allocation, and others.

It turned out that these other means include a transaction with the help of GPay and ATM cards provided by agents.

During the raid, VACB officials found that a total of Rs 3,04,990 of unaccounted cash was transferred to the accounts of various motor vehicle personnel by agents via GPay. Of this, the most were reported from the Kottayam RT Office where agents transferred Rs 1,20,000 to accounts of officials via GPay.

At Muvattupuzha RTO Office, VACB officials seized nine ATM cards from an assistant motor vehicle inspector, and of these, five cards were not in his name.

“It has to be doubted that either agent opened a savings bank account in his/her name or relative’s name and then handover the ATM card to the official concerned for using the unaccounted cash that they collected from various applicants. A thorough investigation will be conducted and the erring officials will be charged accordingly,” added Manoj.

The raid covered 53 RTO/JRTO offices and a total of Rs 5,50,607 got seized as cash from officials and agents.