NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has formed a Special Investigation Team headed by an Additional Director Rakesh Asthana, who is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, on Thursday to probe into two high profile cases -- AgustaWestland chopper scam and loan fraud by liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
The Special Investigation Team was formed after the agency found that in both the cases the money laundering took places across various countries, including the UK and Italy.
Rakesh Asthana, who is headed the SIT, also had investigated the burning of Sabarmati Express train at Godhra in February 2002. He was also associated with the Fodder Scam probe.
Asthana will initially look into the AgustaWestland chopper scam and eventually take over the alleged bank loan fraud by Mallya. Asthana will also co-ordinate with the Enforcement Directorate which is also probing money laundering in both the cases.
Sources said that earlier, the CBI director Anil Sinha was “personally monitoring” both the cases due to which he was unable to focus on other cases like Vyapam scam other high profile cases. Shifting responsibility on Asthana, CBI director will now carry out various drives to weed out and catch corrupt bureaucrats and central government employees.
Recently, CBI claimed to have carried out a nation-wide operation between May 16 and May 31 against 14 government officers who allegedly amassed assets disproportionate to known sources of their income and registered cases against them.
The drive saw registration of corruption cases against six Group A officers, three Group B officers and five Group C officers of the central government and public sector undertakings. They said alleged disproportionate assets worth about Rs 38.47 crore were found during the drive. The drive was personally monitored by the CBI director, who has planned to carry out such drives every month.