ACB recovers 4 files from ex-revenue minister's official bungalow in Mumbai

Of the four, only two files had NCP leader Suresh Dhas’ signatures; cops scrutinising all the confiscated files

Though former revenue minister (MoS) Suresh Dhas continues to be in a denial mode over his alleged involvement in the bribery case, officials from Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) appear to be inching closer towards him with each passing day.

One of the several photos of Andhale and Dhas submitted by Ram Khade to the ACB. File pic
One of the several photos of Andhale and Dhas submitted by Ram Khade to the ACB. File pic

Sources in the ACB claimed that the recent search conducted at the former minister’s official residence in Cuffe Parade led to the discovery of four files. A similar search at the prime accused Vaibhav Andhale’s Kurla residence produced 84 files.

“Though most of the files seized from Andhale’s home are not work-related, those recovered from Dhas’ official residence have certain relevance to his tenure. Of the four, only two files had his signatures.

We want to know if Dhas took the files officially or not. In addition, we are also scrutinising Andhale’s call details record to find out whether he was in touch with the former minister or not. We also seized handsets belonging to a Delhi-based doctor, who we suspect is a middlemen like Andhale,” a source added.

Confirming the searches, Additional Commissioner of Police (ACB), Vishwas Nangre Patil, said, “We searched the former minister’s official residence during his tenure and seized a few files, which are currently being scrutinised.”

Sources also claimed that ACB officials were mulling legal recourse to find out if the decisions taken by Dhas during his tenure could be questioned and overruled, and whether they could conduct separate inquiry into those matters as well.

Custody extended
Meanwhile, the police custody of Vaibhav Andhale, Sanjay Suradkar a desk officer at revenue department and Devidas Dahiphale Suradkar’s PA has been extended until tomorrow. The trio arrested for taking bribe of Rs 23 lakh from a Pune-based businessman.

“He completed BEd following which he shifted to Mumbai and started doing Dhas’ dirty work,” said Ram Khade, BJP youth wing secretary from Asthi, in Beed. Khade had submitted photos of Andhale and Dhas together to the ACB and handed over a letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis, after his swearing-in ceremony on October 31, demanding a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Commenting on the wealth amassed by Andhale, an ACB officer said he owns a Verna car, a flat in Kurla and two iPhones. “He has made a lot of money at a young age (23). We are investigating the source of his wealth too,” the officer added.

The other side
Continuing to refute allegations levelled against him, Dhas said, “If they think I’m involved in this case, then the police must prove it. But I’m sure they won’t find anything because I’m clean. Even Andhale’s call detail records will show nothing because none of us have called each other. This will prove my innocence. And as I’ve already said, I vacated the official residence long ago.”

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