A decade-old nexus between officials and agents of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Gurgaon, who used to secretly collect money to speed up file clearance, has been shockingly exposed. Notably, as per the findings of Gurgaon Police, this network continued uninterrupted even with the rotation of officers.
The latest arrest in the case includes Ashish, also known as Bholu, who was detained on Tuesday and later produced in the court on Wednesday, after which he was sent to judicial custody. Ashish was actively working as an agent within the RTO Gurgaon, acting as an intermediary for officials to recover money from transporters seeking file clearance. So far, five agents including Ashish have been arrested.
The key evidence leading to Ashish's arrest was a recorded conversation between him and another agent, during which they discussed illegal money collection for officials.
Surprisingly, the list of names involved in this corruption network has now increased to 60 agents, many of whom are avoiding the authorities due to fear of arrest. Moreover, two transport inspectors posted at RTO Gurgaon are also missing since the agents' custody, highlighting the enormity of this web of corruption.
This corruption scandal, in which agents were systematically bribing officials to get their paperwork done faster, first came to light through an investigation conducted by the CM Flying Squad, which resulted in the arrest of three agents just last week.
A corruption racket in the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Gurgaon, India has been busted by the Chief Minister's Flying Squad. The scheme involved compensating agents for processing applications and officials for approving files, allowing the racket to generate monthly revenue of around Rs 5-6 crore. These agents used coded symbols on application forms and carefully maintained an Excel sheet to keep track of the documents they sent. In turn, the authorities rely on their own agents to collect these illicit funds, usually near an ATM on the RTO premises. It is suspected that this network of corruption has been in existence for many years.
Meanwhile, the local police in Mohali have registered 135 FIRs against fake immigration companies this year, leading to the arrest of 28 agents. The police receive around 150 complaints every month regarding unlicensed agents or persons defrauding others with the promise of facilitating foreign travel. Administrative records of Mohali show 402 registrations for coaching institutes covering IELTS, travel agencies, immigration consultancy services and ticketing agents in the area. The shocking thing is that an estimated 700 illegal companies are currently running in Mohali. Recently, three owners of an immigration firm were arrested for allegedly defrauding immigration applicants of Rs 1 crore.