COIMBATORE/NEW DELHI: Senior IPS officer and former Inspector General of Police (West Zone) Pramod Kumar was arrested by CBI sleuths on Wednesday in New Delhi for extorting money from the accused in the sensational Rs 1,600-crore Paazee financial scam.
Recently, the Madras High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail application of Pramod Kumar.
Kumar, a 1989 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was posted in Coimbatore during 2009, when the Paazee scam broke out in the neighbouring Tirupur district. He allegedly extorted Rs 2.85 crore from the three directors of the Paazee group of companies to hush up investigations.
The CBI has accused him of playing an active role in “orchestrating the extortion through his subordinate officers and accomplices.”
The Paazee scam was one of the biggest ever economic offences originating from western Tamil Nadu in which over 48,000 depositors across the country had invested around Rs 1,600 crore in the Tirupur-based Paazee financial institutions.
The company, floated by a former Tirupur district correspondent of a Tamil daily K Kathiravan, his son K Mohanraj and a Chennai-based woman Kamalavalli, had promised depositors quick higher returns through Forex trade. However, soon it came to light that the company was a sham and the Tirupur district police took up investigations in 2009.
According to the CBI, at that time Kumar allegedly put pressure on his subordinates to extract Rs 10 crore from the accused. As a first instalment the accused allegedly paid Rs 2.85 crore. Later, the three directors went underground. Subsequently, the police had entrusted the case to the Economic Offences Wing.
However, for nearly two years, the EOW failed to make any breakthrough. Unhappy with the pace of investigations, the Madras High Court transferred the case to the CBI in June last year.
Soon after that the CBI traced Kathiravan, Mohanraj and Kamalavalli at a luxury resorts Meghalaya and Assam in August and arrested them.
It is expected that Kumar would be produced before a Tirupur court on Thursday. The CBI is likely to seek his custody for interrogation.