INDIA: TV channel exposes MLAs involved in hawala

CNN-IBN sting operation shows Minister accepting bribe

Times of India
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lucknow --- The political establishment in Uttar Pradesh was shaken on Wednesday by a TV news channel's expose of the alleged involvement of three legislators in criminal activities like money laundering, drug trafficking and poaching.

During the sting operation conducted by CNN-IBN channel and DIG, journalists also secretly filmed one of the politicians -- Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare Mehboob Ali -- allegedly accepting a bribe to arrange the transfer of government officials.

The footage aired on the channel showed Ali, a leader of the state's ruling Samajwadi Party, demanding a 20 percent kickback for "shipping" a consignment of narcotics in his official car.

Ali also agreed to even put the journalists, posing as drug traffickers, in touch with a known narcotics supplier in Barabanki, 40 km from here.

Ali allegedly accepted money from the journalists for facilitating the transfers and postings of officials, including legal and police officers.