In a significant development, the Tamil Nadu Police concluded a thorough search operation related to the bribery case involving Ankit Tiwari, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer arrested on Friday. The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of the Tamil Nadu Police conducted searches at the ED office in Madurai, where Tiwari was stationed, and at his residence. The search, which continued until 6 am on Saturday, reportedly yielded compelling evidence, as stated by officials.
Amidst the unfolding events, there are indications that the state government is hesitant to transfer the investigation to a central agency, according to sources. Ankit Tiwari was apprehended on Friday morning for allegedly accepting a bribe from a government doctor, according to Indian Express. The DVAC, in an official press release late on Friday night, detailed the sequence of events, revealing that Tiwari had contacted the doctor on October 29, 2023. Tiwari purportedly cited a 2018 disproportionate assets case against the government doctor, which had been resolved by the Dindigul district branch of the DVAC. Notably, Tiwari claimed to have received instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office to reopen the inquiry.
The doctor, summoned to the ED office in Madurai on October 30, was allegedly coerced into a car by Tiwari, who demanded a bribe of Rs 3 crore to avoid legal action. Eventually, an agreement was reached for Rs 51 lakh, with the first installment of Rs 20 lakh allegedly handed over on November 1. The doctor reported the incident to the DVAC, triggering the operation that led to Tiwari’s arrest.
This development occurs against the backdrop of the ED reopening multiple cases previously handled by the DVAC. Many of these cases involve ministers in the DMK government and state government officials. The DVAC statement following Tiwari’s arrest suggests that seized documents indicate his potential involvement in blackmailing or threatening other officials using similar tactics. Investigations are ongoing, and security has been heightened at the ED’s office in Chennai in the wake of these revelations.