Navi Mumbai ACB nabs 3 forest officials for graft

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NAVI MUMBAI: Navi Mumbai anti-corruption bureau (ACB) team on Tuesday nabbed two forest guards attached to Thane forest range for graft of Rs 3.50 lakh.
The sleuths laid a trap and caught red-handed the forest guards while accepting the bribe on behalf of a forester from a supervisor of the demolition site at City Mall in Sector 19, Vashi.
On Monday, the accused forester Sanjay Pawar (55) of Thane Forest Range office and his two forest guards Deepak Verma (35) and Amit Rane (39) had visited the City Mall where demolition work was in progress.
They served a notice to the site supervisor by stating that the demolition was being carried out without permission from the National Wildlife Board and Forest department since the site is under eco-sensitive zone within 10km from the boundary of Thane creek Flamingo National Sanctuary.
The trio accused had then allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from the site supervisor for not taking legal action. After negotiation, they settled for Rs 3.50 lakh bribe.
After the site supervisor lodged a complaint at Navi Mumbai ACB office against the three forest officials, the ACB team led by police inspector Shivraj Bendre carried out verification when it was confirmed that the two forest guards Verma and Rane had settled for a bribe demand of Rs 3.50 lakh for themselves and forester Pawar.
They also demanded Rs 25,000 bribe to be paid by the supervisor every month thereafter.
Jyoti Deshmukh, deputy SP of Navi Mumbai ACB said, “The trap was laid for the accused on Tuesday evening in Sector 17, Vashi where we had told the complainant to call the accused to hand over the demanded bribe. Around 5pm, the forester Pawar and forest guard Verma were caught red-handed while accepting Rs 3.50 lakh bribe from the complainant. The third accused forest guard Rane was arrested from APMC market on the same day. The three accused have been remanded in ACB custody till October 16.”
Source

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