Hyderabad: A resident of Yakutpura, Mir Shakeel Ali, was arrested by Hyderabad Customs officials on his arrival from Dubai on 29 April 2021. He was booked and jailed on suspicions of smuggling gold.

A month later, he was granted bail on account of his father Asghar Ali's death, since he was the only family member to perform the final rights. The court hearing his case granted him bail on the condition that Shakeel shall execute a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh with two sureties and that Shakeel must appear before the investigating officials in a fortnight.

Little did Shakeel know that his bail conditions would nail top officials of the Customs department. The man was asked to appear before the Customs office - GST Bhavan in Basheerbagh.

Six months into the investigation, on 7 October 2021, Shakeel received a call from Krishnan Pal who identified himself as a Customs inspector. The official inquired about Shakeel's new address. Later, Kishnan Pal along with the superintendent of Customs S. Suresh Kumar, and another man, Sundar, visited Shakeel's house and demanded Rs. 20,000 bribe.

The trio directed Shakeel to bring two witnesses for the panchanama. During the conversation, Sundar demanded a bribe of Rs. 20,000 in lieu of not canceling his bail. Sadly, their plan did not come to pass. Shakeel could neither arrange for two witnesses nor the bribe amount. Instead, he filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Based on the complaint, the CBI arrested two Customs officials for demanding bribe. "A case was registered against the two officials for demanding bribe in order not to cancel Shakeel's bail order and for not arresting him. The CBI laid a trap and caught the accused while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 10,000 from the complainant. Searches were conducted at four places including at Hyderabad, in the office and residential premises of the accused which led to the recovery of certain documents," said the CBI.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting. You can follow Coreena on [email protected]

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