Patna: A Bihar official purchased 55 plots of land in his and his wife's name during 25 years of service, officials said Wednesday.
The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) team that raided the house of a junior engineer was stunned that he had purchased 55 plots of land. Fixed deposits, jewellery, SUVs and household goods worth Rs. 41 lakh were also seized in the raid.
The EOU team raided the house of Firaj-ul-Haque, junior engineer in the rural works department at the district headquarters of East Champaran, Tuesday.
Additional Director General of police Gupteshwar Pandey said the EOU team raided Haque's two houses and discovered properties worth crores of rupees.
"We have begun investigation to assess the actual worth of his assets. The huge land assets he owns have seen appreciation over the years. His property would be worth over several crores," Pandey said.
He said documents seized in the raid have revealed that Haque owned land in Patna and Muzaffarpur too. "All this is highly disproportionate to the known sources of his income," he said.
A EOU official said that it would take a long time to estimate the actual wealth of Haque.
"All the seizures including 55 plots of land, are several times his salary as junior engineer for 25 years, which at the maximum stands at Rs. 1.12 crore. The value of plots of land as per land deed is around Rs. 50 lakh, which has been grossly undervalued on paper," the officials said.
Jitendra Singh Gangwar, Inspector General, EOU, said that it is the biggest seizure by the EOU in terms of land assets till date in the state.
Last year, the EOU team had recovered 230 pieces of gold earrings and tops during raids on the residence of Deputy Director of Secondary Education Radha Krishna Singh Yadav.
The same year, an EOU team found a silver pressure cooker among the possessions of another government employee. The vessel was later produced in court.
In the past eight months, the EOU has arrested 42 government officials while taking bribes and raided over a dozen officials' houses in the state and recovered assets worth crores of rupees.