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More cash recovered from former NALCO CMDs lockers

New Delhi: The CBI has recovered an additional Rs 21 lakh from the lockers allegedly operated by former Chairman and Managing Director NALCO A K Srivastava who has been arrested by the agency on charges of bribery.

A team of CBI officials searched the lockers allegedly operated by Srivastava and his wife in Noida and recovered currency worth Rs 21 lakh, official sources said.

The searches were also conducted on the MP-based firm Bhatia Group of Companies and some crucial documents were recovered by the sleuths, the sources said.

The agency has arrested Srivastava, his wife Chandni, alleged conduit B L Bajaj and his wife Anita on the charges of accepting illegal gratification and recovered 10 kg of gold bricks worth Rs 2.11 crore from a bank locker and nearly Rs 30 lakh in cash from their possession.

The team nabbed Chandni along with Anita just after the duo had allegedly deposited these gold bricks in a bank locker in Bank of Maharashtra, UPSC branch in New Delhi, they said.

All four accused have been sent to CBI custody till March 3 by the special CBI court.

The CBI had submitted before the court that B L Bajaj acted as a middlemen for obtaining official favour for Bhatia Group of Companies from Srivastava and for that he had collected huge illegal gratification from G S Bhatia, CMD of Bhatia Group of Companies, on behalf of the NALCO`s CMD.

CBI had further said Bajaj was working as a conduit between coal suppliers and Srivastava.

Bajaj was having close liasoning with Bhatia and used three phone numbers to talk to him, agency had submitted.

Bhatia Group of Companies is engaged in trading of imported and indigenous coal with various private companies and PSU`s through its company M/s Bhatia International Ltd and Bhatia Coal Sales Ltd located in Indore.

CBI said Srivastava had instructed Bajaj to convert the illegal gratification received from Bhatia Group of Companies into gold and to deliver it to him.

The probe agency submitted Bajaj and Srivastava were close friends.

Regarding the role of wives of both the accused, CBI said Srivastava and Bajaj decided to deposit the gold through them in either of the lockers maintained at Shahjahan Road branch of Bank of Maharashtra or Mayur Vihar Phase-1 branch of Bank of India.

It said the bribe amount was converted into gold bricks which were collected by Anita and were handed over to Chandani.

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