Calcutta, June 20: The Airports Authority of India executive director, eastern region, and his teenage son were arrested at home last night for taking a bribe.
Naresh Kumar Puri, the second senior airport official to be caught red-handed in a month, tried to wriggle out by stuffing the Rs 5,000-bribe into his son’s pocket.
In the end, he landed 16-year-old Ankush in jail without saving his own skin.
The CBI, which arrested the duo from their residence on the airport campus, found Rs 3 lakh in cash and movable property (such as Indira Vikas Patras) worth Rs 40 lakh during a raid that lasted over 12 hours.
The CBI swoop followed a complaint by Soumya Chatterjee, a contractor engaged by the AAI to construct a portion of the airport’s boundary wall.
The Dum Dum resident was to get Rs 3.9 lakh from the AAI and, according to his written complaint, Puri demanded Rs 5,000 from him to clear his dues.
The complaint was lodged on Wednesday evening with the CBI’s anti-corruption wing in Nizam Palace.
CBI officials decided to act immediately. They readied a bundle of 100 Rs 50 notes and treated it with phenolphthalein. “This chemical renders the colour of water pink if a person who touches it washes his hands,” an official explained.
Armed with the notes, they reached Puri’s quarters (no. R-472) around 8.30 pm yesterday. Two officials accompanied Chatterjee into the house.
“Puri was not prepared to waste a second and asked for the money immediately,” a CBI official said from Delhi. He took the money but when the CBI officials revealed their identity, he stuffed the notes into his son’s pocket.
“Both of them were arrested as the money was recovered from Puri’s son,” an official said.
In the raid that followed, which covered Puri’s home and office and continued till 10 am today, officials recovered cash and bonds. “He could not explain how he got to have so much with his salary,” a CBI official said.
Puri and his son were produced before the third additional sessions judge, Barasat. Puri was remanded in a day’s custody with the CBI and will be produced in court again tomorrow. Ankush was remanded in jail custody for a fortnight, officials said.
CBI sleuths had picked up an assistant commissioner with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, .P. Yadav, last month for accepting a laptop from a contractor who was promised security passes to the airport’s restricted zones, officials said.