The CBI on May 7 seized more than Rs 1.42 crore cash during searches at the premises of a Thane-based company’s manager who was arrested along with a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) assistant director in a bribery case, officials said. The searches started on Monday at Reliable Analytical Laboratories Pvt Ltd’s senior manager Harshal Chougule’s residence following his arrest, they said.

Besides him, the agency on Monday also arrested assistant director at the FSSAI’s regional office in Mumbai, Amol Jagtap, and the company’s director, Vikas Bhardwaj, and a representative of the company in the case from Mumbai, they said. The officials said besides the cash, the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) also seized two gold biscuits, a laptop and incriminating documents during the further searches on Tuesday at the premises of Chougule.

Chougule was arrested for allegedly paying a bribe Rs 1.20 lakh to Jagtap for clearing pending bills of the company, they said. The searches on Monday conducted at the residence of the accused resulted in the seizure of Rs 37.3 lakh cash, about 45 gram gold and documents pertaining to various immovable properties and other incriminating documents, the officials said.

“With today’s operation total cash recovered amounts to Rs 1.8 crore (approx) along with gold/gold biscuits, etc. during various searches carried out by CBI after the trap,” the CBI spokesperson said. Reliable Analytical Laboratories Pvt Ltd runs a chain of chemical laboratories notified by the FSSAI and the company is engaged in analysis of samples forwarded to it by the authority.

The FSSAI is a statutory body of the central government responsible for regulating the manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and import of food articles, and monitoring of quality standards of food articles sold in the country. (PTI)


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