The CBI has booked an officer of the Chennai Port Trust, who allegedly took a bribe of more than Rs 97 lakh from an elderly man promising to appoint his son as an assistant traffic manager in the trust, officials Said on Thursday.
It is alleged that K Pupathi, who worked as a personal assistant to the trust’s chief engineer and is currently running suspended, met complainant N Devaraj (63) on a train trip, he said.
Officials said that during the negotiations, Popathi allegedly told Devaraj that the chief engineer had wide powers to appoint people in the port.
He allegedly told Devaraj that by spending Rs 1 crore, his son Satyaprakash, who holds a diploma in mechanical engineering and shipping logistics, could get the job of assistant traffic manager in the port, which is the post of gazetted officer.
Officials said that on the basis of his assurance, Devraj allegedly paid cash and over Rs 97 lakh to the accused between December 17, 2016 and November 20, 2019.
To secure a bright future for his son, Devaraj used his retirement fund, savings, mortgaged his daughter’s gold jewelery to a local pawn shop, mortgaged his home as well as his personal Borrowed from individuals on interest.
Officials said that Devaraj got suspicious of Popathi as he stopped calling and started coming for personal meetings.
It has been alleged that some unknown people had threatened Devaraj in February and took his signature on a document stating that all his payments to Puyopathy were returned to him, he said.
Officials said Devraj lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Officer of Chennai Port Trust along with audio recordings of transactions, mortgages, stamp receipts and conversations between Poopati and his son Satyaprakash.
The Chennai Port Trust later suspended Poopathy, he said.
Devraj also approached the CBI with his complaint, which has now been taken up after the agency filed an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act for investigation.
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