The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 5 arrested an Income Tax (I-T) official from Ahmedabad in connection with a money laundering case. The official, Santosh Karnani, has been accused of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 30 lakh as an undue advantage.
The ED had registered a case against Karnani and others in March 2023 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case was registered based on a complaint filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI had alleged that Karnani had demanded and accepted a bribe of Rs 30 lakh from a businessman in return for not conducting a raid on his premises. The businessman had approached the CBI after Karnani allegedly threatened him with a raid if he did not pay the bribe.
The ED has conducted searches at Karnani's residence and office in Ahmedabad. The agency has seized several incriminating documents and electronic evidence during the searches.
Karnani has been produced before a court in Ahmedabad and remanded in ED custody for five days. The ED is likely to question Karnani about the money laundering allegations against him.
The arrest of Karnani is a major blow to the I-T department. It is the first time that an I-T official has been arrested by the ED in a money laundering case. The arrest is likely to send a strong message to other corrupt officials in the I-T department.