Official in Howrah, India, hides 'bribes' in the TV, under tiles

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A corruption-linked raid of an Indian official's house produced cash piles and jewelry worth $3.2 million (Rs 210,000,000), all stashed in peculiar hiding spots.

Pranab Adhikary, a municipal engineer in the Howrah district of West Bengal, India, was arrested on Friday with his son under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Bundles of cash, diamonds and gold ornaments were hidden in various nooks and crannies throughout his house: in walls, under the toilet floor tiles, and in a mattress and sofa. Even the television and refrigerator weren't spared, according to reports in local media including the Business Standard and the Indian Express.

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It took authorities nearly 21 hours and three money-counting machines to verify the value of the recovered cash and jewelry, according to the reports.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau was acting on the complaints of A.P. Singh, a local builder who claimed he could not attain approval for building plans without a bribe payment, despite having all the proper documents.

Singh also alleged that the Arunava Lahiri, former chairman of Bally municipality - which is now part of the Howrah district - was complicit in the graft operation as well.

Local media reported that Adhikary, who has been working for the municipality for 20 years, was not acting alone, but as the point-person or 'treasurer' of a larger government official syndicate that allegedly accepted bribes.

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In the Prime Minister's Independence Day address on Saturday, Narendra Modi likened corruption to a "termite" and said, "I want to reaffirm that this nation will get rid of corruption. We can rid the country of corruption, we have to start from the top."

Transparency's Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures the corruption level of the country's public sector, ranked India 85 out of 175 countries in 2014.