Pause for a moment and think about where you have some cash stashed in your house. The sock drawer? Some ground meat in the freezer? Under the mattress? Well, if you were Pranab Adhikary, a city engineer from Howrah, India, you would have cash, and jewels, stashed in all those places and more.
You see, Pranab was a treasurer of sorts for an illicit group coordinating all the bribes in the state of West Bengal. Corruption and bribery have long been serious issues in India and were recently topics of conversation when the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave his Independence Day address. Fortunately for him, government agents working under the Prevention of Corruption Act were about to hand him a perfect example of cleaning up massive levels of graft.
The interesting part of this story isn’t that a government official was corrupt. That’s not news. But the heart of the matter is just how stupid Adhikary was when hiding his loot. Diamonds were sitting inside containers of Maggi noodles. Golden rings were taped to the underside of the toilet. McDonalds bags full of rupees were stashed inside of the sofa and mattress. Over $500,000 was split among his shirts in the closet, the inside of the refrigerator door, and inside three TVs. Foolishly, the money was taped right over the vents for the televisions, so he must have felt okay with the concept of burning money.
Even with all of those hiding spaces, when police busted through the door, they still found piles of rupees and dollars literally sitting on the floor in the dining room. While there is no reason to doubt the guilt of Pranab or his son, who was also arrested, maybe you need to feel for him a little bit. After all, there are only so many places you can hide money when you’re trying to conceal over $3 million in bribes in your house. The exact count was $3.2 million and I’m confident of that, since it took the authorities over twenty-one hours and three counting machines to arrive at that figure.