Bribe in EMIs! Corrupt Gujarat Officials allow victims to pay bribes via EMI

In a peculiar but concerning trend, corrupt Gujarat government officials are now providing citizens with the option of paying bribes in installments.

Pay bribes via EMI; Gujarat Corrupt Officials new installment scheme

Reetu | Jun 6, 2024 |

Bribe in EMIs! Corrupt Gujarat Officials allow victims to pay bribes via EMI

Bribe in EMIs! Corrupt Gujarat Officials allow victims to pay bribes via EMI

In a peculiar but concerning trend, corrupt Gujarat government officials are now providing citizens with the option of paying bribes in installments, similar to the structure of bank loans. This tactic, termed ’empathetically corrupt,’ has emerged as a supposedly ‘considerate’ approach to alleviate the financial burden on individuals persuaded into offering bribes, according to a report.

Consider the following examples: In March of this year, an unbelievable Rs.21 lakh bribe was asked from a person involved in an SGST fake billing scam. To ease the financial burden, the sum was divided into nine EMIs of Rs.2 lakh each, plus one payment of Rs.1 lakh.

Likewise, on April 4, a deputy sarpanch and taluka panchayat member demanded an Rs.85,000 bribe for a farming favour in Surat. Noticing the villager’s financial limits, the accused offered an EMI plan – an initial payment of Rs.35,000 followed by three equal installments for the remaining.

Just recently, two police officers fled with a Rs.4 lakh bribe extorted from a Sabarkantha citizen. This sum of money constituted only the first installment of the whole Rs.10 lakh demanded.

Based on reports from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), similar events are on the rise, with ten cases registered so far this year. According to a senior ACB officer, corrupt officials exploit those who are under legal scrutiny or seeking government assistance by asking for hefty bribes. With victims frequently being financially pressured and vulnerable, paying the entire payment upfront becomes unsustainable.

“Corrupt officials are unwilling to forgo the opportunity to enrich themselves swiftly,” the cop stated.

Consequently, they created the installment scheme to ensure compliance. Shamsher Singh, Director of the ACB in Gujarat and DGP (law and order), stated that the bureau has only been able to investigate cases when victims reported after making initial payments.

In a recent case, a CID (criminal) inspector sought an Rs.50,000 bribe for the release of seized items, including laptops and PCs, with the cash divided into five Rs.10,000 installments. Similarly, a Class II officer with the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board facilitated a contractor’s outstanding billing totalling Rs.1.20 lakh by dividing the bribe into four payments of Rs.30,000.

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