Man masquerading as PMO official nabbed from Hyderabad, cash seized

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Syed Burhanuddin aka OP Singh aka OP Sharma was on Wednesday nabbed from Hyderabad and will be produced on Thursday before a special court.

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested the man who has allegedly taken illegal gratification from an IAS officer BL Agrawal, assuring help in the agency’ probe against him by masquerading as an official of the PMO.

Syed Burhanuddin aka O P Singh aka O P Sharma was on Wednesday nabbed from Hyderabad and will be produced on Thursday before a special court in New Delhi.

During the searches, CBI recovered cash amount of Rs 35.5 lakh (approx) and approx 500 gm gold jewellery during the search at the residential premises of the accused in Hyderabad, CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said in Delhi.

The agency sources said the probe is now hovering on purported contacts of Burhanuddin on the basis of which he had allegedly assured help to Agrawal.

They said it is being looked into whether he had some contacts which could have helped him or he was a conman trying to mint money from Agrawal who was desperate to get out of the CBI’s clutches.

Agrawal, a Principal Secretary in the Chhattisgarh government, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly bribing people to help him wriggle out of corruption cases pending against him.

It is alleged that Agrawal, an IAS officer of 1988 batch, wanted to “settle” CBI cases against him which were lodged in 2010 when he was the state’s Health Secretary.

He has been charge-sheeted in one case, while a probe is on in the other.

Burhanuddin claimed that he was working in Prime Minister’s Office and would help him settle the case in his favour and had demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI FIR has alleged.

A meeting was held by the trio on February 11, where Agrawal agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, they said.

It is alleged that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel.

The IAS officer then expressed inability to arrange cash for remaining payment after which Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kg gold as illegal gratification, the FIR alleged.

Agrawal asked his brother-in-law Anand Agrawal to deliver two kilograms of gold to Singh, it alleged.

The IAS officer was arrested with his brother-in-law from Raipur, while Singh was apprehended here but Burhanuddin remained at large.

Gaur said Burhanuddin was absconding and also did not join the investigation.

He said in the case so far, a total cash amount of Rs 91.9 lakh and 3.5 kg of gold have been recovered during the search operations.

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