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₹4 lakh bribe to become a sweeper: ED unearths new ₹200 crore ‘cash for jobs’ racket in West Bengal while probing TMC’s teacher recruitment scam

As part of the 'cash for job scam', 6000 vacancies for 17 Group C and Group D positions across 60 municipalities in West Bengal were fraudulently filled from 2014-2015 onwards.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unearthed a ‘cash for jobs scam’ in West Bengal while investigating the teacher recruitment scam in the State.

As per a report by News18, the central agency raided the offices of a businessman named Ayan Sil between March 19-20 this year. It must be mentioned that Sil played a significant role in the teacher recruitment scam as the Director of a company named ABS Infozone Pvt Ltd.

He was responsible for the printing and designing of Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets of fraudulent candidates and manipulated them to ensure their illegal appointment as teachers. While investigating his offices, ED found the digital and paper trail of another high-profile ‘cash for jobs’ scam.

The accused had collected a whopping ₹200 crores from other candidates to facilitate their appointment in other jobs across municipalities in the State of West Bengal. Besides Ayan Shil, the Enforcement Directorate found the involvement of private persons, public servants and the ruling political dispensation.

The central agency informed that such fraudulent appointments for various jobs were made across municipalities such as Titagarh, Baranagar, Halisahar, Kanchrapara, New Barackpur, Kamarhati, and Dum Dum among others.

The jobs ranged from sweepers to sub-assistant engineers. Interstingly, the Enforcement Directorate also found the ‘rate card’ that Ayan Shil and his co-accused charged the fraudulent candidates.

Bribes ranged from ₹4-6 lakhs per candidate

News18 reported that for securing the job of a peon, labour, sweeper, mason, dumper operator, sanitary assistant and ambulance attendant, the scamsters charged candidates a whopping ₹4 lakh rupees.

The bribe for getting a job as an assistant cashier, pipeline inspector, and clerk was around ₹5 lakh rupees. And it was around ₹6 lakh for sub-assistant engineers.

In this way, 6000 vacancies for 17 Group C and Group D positions across 60 municipalities in West Bengal were filled from 2014-2015. The Enforcement Directorate has recovered list of agents and fraudulent candidates who accepted and paid the bribes respectively.

While speaking about the matter, a senior official told News18, “The kickbacks were received by the chairpersons of respective municipalities and several senior government officers. We have details of the agents who collected the cash and the candidates who paid for jobs.”

Action taken by the Enforcement Directorate

In March this year, the Enforcement Directorate arrested businessman Ayan Shil and filed an affidavit in the Calcutta High Court a month later about the ₹200 crore ‘cash for job’ scam.

On April 22, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). ED had asked the central agency to intervene since the victim in both the ‘teacher recruitment scam’ and ‘cash for job’ scam are the same.

The Enforcement Directorate said, “It has been noticed that several persons including Ayan Sil, other agents and political persons have obtained the bribe money both in the illegal recruitment of teachers in the education sector as well as for securing various employments in various municipalities.”

“And even the proceeds of crime of Teachers Recruitment Scam and Municipality Recruitment Scam have got intermingled on account of common agents and common beneficiaries,” it further added.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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