Two days after Sachin Vaze was sent to judicial custody, it has now surfaced that the tainted cop had extorted Rs 30 lakh from TRP-measuring authority BARC, reported The Times of India. It is pertinent to note that there was while the FIR in the TRP manipulation case had mentioned India Today, the Mumbai police headed by Parambir Singh at the time had publicly named Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in the case during a press conference without any apparent evidence.
While probing the money laundering charges against Sachin Vaze in the fake TRP scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) found that the suspended cop extorted Rs 30 lakhs from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) through a Mumbai Crime Branch inspector. The bribe was paid by BARC executives to “protect themselves from harassment at the hands of the Mumbai police”.
Citing sources, TOI reported that BARC officials had admitted to the ED about making such a payment. The nodal TRP measuring body transferred the bribe to the bank account of a dummy company while maintaining that the amount was spent on construction work in its record books. After the bribe was credited to a dummy account, it was then transferred to four additional shell companies. The extortion money was then credited to the account of a Hawala operator.
Modus operandi of the Hawala scam by Sachin Vaze
The amount was returned to accused BARC officials in cash by the Hawala operator and handed over to the Mumbai Crime Branch inspector, who worked for Sachin Vaze. The Enforcement Directorate is yet to interrogate Sachin Vaze and Mumbai Crime Branch Inspector. Citing a source, TOI reported “Vaze used to tell BARC executives to wait outside his office for hours, even late in the evening, and then telling them to come the next day. Vaze also created an impression that he beats up suspects during questioning and asked BARC to pay a Rs 30 lakh bribe if they want to avoid torture.”
ED attaches ₹32 crores worth of properties of Box Cinema, Maha Movies and Fakt Marathi
Reportedly, the Enforcement Directorate will soon file the first chargesheet in the TRP money laundering case. The central agency will enclose evidence, unearthing the money trail and the bribe details. ED has clarified that the Television Rating Points is measured on the basis of the total time that a user watches a channel. During the probe, the Enforcement Directorate found that Box Cinema and Maha Movies generated 25% of their TRP fraudulently with the help of 5 households, where Hansa Group had installed its barometers.
Similarly, Fakt Marathi increased their TRP in a similar manner by 12%. The central agency has now attached properties worth ₹32 crore belonging to the three companies.
TRP scam and targeting of Republic TV
The Mumbai Police had targeted Republic TV over the TRP scam with very little evidence. It became clear that it was part of the Mumbai Police’s agenda against Arnab Goswami for his staunch criticism of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra over the channel’s coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case investigation and the Palghar mob lynching of Sadhus.
On Saturday, Republic TV had announced that all chapter proceedings against the media house initiated by the Mumbai Police have bow been terminated. Chapter proceedings are preventive in nature and taken when the police suspect that an individual or entity is likely to incite trouble and create a nuisance.
Sachin Vaze sent to judicial custody
In a big development in the Antilia bomb scare case on Saturday (April 9), the accused cop Sachin Vaze was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a special NIA court on Friday after the anti-terror agency didn’t press for his further custody. He will be housed in Taloja jail until April 23, reported Republic TV.
Vaze, arrested on March 13, was produced before the special court after the end of his NIA remand. Besides the Antilia bomb scare case, Vaze is also being probed in the Mansukh Hiren’s death case by the NIA.vMeanwhile, in another major development, the CBI has also been allowed to access the diaries of Sachin Vaze and suspended constable Vinayak Shinde that were recovered by the NIA earlier. With this, the CBI will also start delving deeper into the involvement of the accused cop’s alleged role in the death of businessman Mansukh Hiren.