It appears that courting corruption charges has become a trend for members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Suresh Dhas, former minister of state for revenue
Suresh Dhas, former minister of state for revenue

Days after a middleman, Vaibhav Andhale, was arrested outside the revenue department office at the World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade for taking a bribe of R23 lakh, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) recovered a file from a former revenue minister of state’s official residence related to the matter.

Sources claimed ACB officials would soon be recording NCP leader Suresh Dhas’ statement in the matter, as they suspect him of signing the file at the last minute without mentioning the date.

Andhale, who was arrested on Tuesday along with another agent and a revenue department officer, was supposed to hand over the said file to a businessman, who had the power of attorney for an 18-acre property in Pune, but was unable to secure its rights.

“As the complainant did not wish to pay, he approached us. Based on his complaint, we laid a trap outside the revenue department office and nabbed Andhale and the others,” DGP Pravin Dixit (ACB) said.

The officials learnt that Andhale paid R1 lakh to Sanjay Suradkar, desk officer at the revenue department, and Rs 50,000 to his PA, Devidas Dahiphale, keeping the remaining R21.5 lakh himself.

“We suspect this amount was meant for someone with a higher post and are investigating the case from this angle. If required, we will call the ex-minister for his statement,” said an ACB official.