In an audio clip accessed by this newspaper, the inspector could be heard asking one of the suspects to go to a particular spot to make a cash transaction to facilitate the theft.
An SI from Ambattur police station allegedly approached Isakki Venkatesh, a scrap dealer with information on locked industrial units within Ambattur Estate police limits from where he could steal iron scrap. He struck a deal with Isakki, ensuring no cop interference during the theft, for a payment of Rs 10,000 a night for 30 days. In return for this, the SI’s demand was Rs 3 lakh a month of which Rs 1 lakh was for him, another Rs 1 lakh for Ambattur crime inspector and Rs 50,000 each for two other senior officials. “Burdened with financial difficulties during the lockdown, Isakki, a first-time offender, agreed to the offer and stole iron scrap for two nights in the last week of May,” a police source said. Within two days, two cops together had extracted over Rs 50,000 from the accused. On the third night, while Isakki and his two associates were returning in two mini load vehicles, a police patrol team, which was not aware of the deal, intercepted and took them to Ambattur Estate police station, where the three were arrested.
Sources added that even after the arrest, the two police officers asked Isakki’s family to pay Rs 1 lakh to higher ups through a lawyer. “The family could manage to get Rs 70,000 and paid the amount to the lawyer. But the accused were not released and instead remanded. The family now doesn’t know where the money went,” he said.
The accused who had lost Rs 1.20 lakh to the cops are now out after spending more than three weeks in jail. When contacted, Ambattur Deputy Commissioner I Eswaran said, an inquiry was being conducted into the incident.