Over a dozen officials of the Tamil Nadu police have been booked by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) over their alleged involvement in the Rs 300 crore equipment procurement scam. Searches at the homes of senior police officers, including Superintendent of Police Anbuchezian and Additional SP Ramesh, have been ongoing since Saturday.

The probe involves alleged irregularities in the procurement of gadgets, including walkie talkies, for the state police. It has been alleged that the officials of the police’s Technical Services wing granted tenders to one particular private company and ignored the concerns raised by other top police officials in the department.

According to a report in The Hindu, after the state Home Department ordered a probe in September last year, the DVAC has been conducting searches at over 15 places across the state since Saturday. The probe is to investigate ‘criminal misconduct’ and potential ‘pecuniary loss’ to the government.

A preliminary internal investigation by the Deputy Inspector General (Technical Services) and Inspector General (Crime) allegedly revealed serious irregularities in the tenders floated for the purchase of CCTV cameras, Digital Mobile Radios (DMR) and the eligibility criteria set for the procurement of these products, among others.

A majority of the tenders for the procurement of the equipment was reportedly given to one V-Link Systems Pvt Ltd, and Anbuchezian is alleged to have repudiated red flags raised by other senior colleagues. The Technical Services wing falls under the Office of the DGP, and Anbuchezian has been holding the post of Superintendent of Police (SP) for the last six years.

According to a report in the Times of India, which reported the scam, DMR tenders in 10 of 16 districts were awarded to this private company. When a senior colleague in Anbuchezian’s team recommended seeking opinion from the Union Home Ministry’s Directorate of Coordination Police Wireless (DCPW), the SP reportedly responded stating that the state’s requirement could not be compared with the listings on DCPW’s website.

Tamil Nadu Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin has slammed the state government over the issue.