• I Paid A Bribe
  • 8 years ago
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Service Tax Officer's extortion racket

Reported on September 12, 2016 from New Delhi , Delhi  ι Report #122265

On the 30th May' 2016, one Mr. Manas Piyush, Chartered Accountant and partner, Exactitude Advisors, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi sent me a message on my facebook messanger asking me to get in touch with him. Since I didn't know anyone by that name, I ignored it. By around 1100 am, Mr. Manas visited me at my residence and said that he wanted to speak to me regarding my service tax dues. He told me that the Service Tax department was planning to take action against me. I informed him that I shall take it up as and when I receive a notice. Mr. Manas was however, adamant that I get in touch with the Service Tax Officer (Mr. Amrendra Ojha) and speak to him. He even shared the contact numbers of Mr. Ojha. The next day I got a call from Mr. Ojha asking me to visit the Nehru Place office of the Service Tax Department. Mr. Manas accompanied me to the Nehru Place office. I was told by Mr. Ojha that I should pay up else action would be taken against me and in case I failed to comply with their demands, exorbitant and unreasonable penalties and charges will be levied against me.
Mr. Manas told me that I would need to pay 5 Lakhs to Mr. Ojha. I pleaded that I didn't have such an amount. However, they kept on forcing and finally the deal was finalized at 3.5 Lakhs. I informed both Mr. Manas and Mr. Ojha that I would be able to pay in parts only as I would be giving them money from the payments I receive from my clients as my current financial condition was not good. This entire episode was making me frustrated because there were some very major reasons because of which I had defaulted and even though I did, I had been mentioning the correct figures in all my income tax returns. I had never intended to shy away from my dues. But the way I was being coaxed and the way money was being extorted from me was making me very uncomfortable. I then decided to catch both of them red-handed. On 03rd August, I handed over the first 50000 to Mr. Ojha at his office in Nehru Place. On this visit, I observed that like before they made me wait for around 15 minutes before meeting. Post that Mr. Ojha did something on his mobile and then spoke to me. I also observed that there weren't any CCTV cameras in the entire department and also that the guard on the fourth floor specifically asked all visitors to switch off their mobiles. On doing some basic research on the internet, I realized that all cameras (spy or mobile) record in bursts with each session being of about 10 minutes post which all made a beep sound and the maximum battery life of a spy camera is around 20 minutes. I also found out that there were numerous camera detecting apps available on the android market and it was very easy to detect spy cams. So basically, Ojha used to wait for those 10 minutes and after checking on his mobile if the visitor was carrying any cameras, he used to meet.
I was to give the second instalment of 100000 on the 29th August' 2016. However, at the last minute, Mr. Manas changed the venue of meeting and asked to visit the HO of the Service Tax Department at ITO, New Delhi. When I reached the HO, I was asked to visit the Income Tax Buidling where Mr. Ojha met me at the Canteen. There was an accomplice with him. Mr. Ojha followed his ritual of waiting and checking and then took the money in the hand wash area of the canteen. Immediately after taking the money, Mr. Ojha handed it over to his accomplice and walked away. Had I informed the Anti Corruption Bureau or even the CVC before this incident, then they would have not been able to nab Ojha with the cash. I had been prepared and I recorded everything. I had found a camera that could overcome Mr. Ojha's precautions.
I visited the CVC (Naitikta Bhawan ) the next day and I was asked to download the contents of the recording and write a complaint and submit. All this needed time and I was busy in daughter's admission and travelling continuously. I informed both Mr. Ojha and Mr. Manas that I had recorded everything so that they wouldn't bother me for more money.
I then, trimmed the recording I had and uploaded it on youtube with the hope that it will be noticed but unfortunately it didn't. I sent tweets to all the major news channels also but nothing happened. While browsing the net yesterday, I noticed your site and hence sharing the entire episode.

The video is available at "https://youtu.be/t0uqxaIBeKk" and has all the contact details of Mr. Ojha and Mr. Manas

What is your reaction after reading this report?