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Pradeep Singh

The Odisha Vigilance on Wednesday arrested the deputy manager of the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (OPHWC), Pratap Samal on charges of amassing disproportionate assets which has so far been pegged at Rs 14.87 crore.

The seized ill-gotten properties, which are said to be the biggest ever catch by the State's anti-corruption agency, is reportedly over 1021 per cent of the public servant’s known sources of income. 

A case has been registered against Samal and his wife Sasmita in connection with the DA case. Samal, who has been arrested today, will be forwarded to the special Vigilance court in Bhubaneswar. 

During raids at multiple locations belonging to Samal, the agency stumbled upon documents related to 25 plots belonging to him and his family members, including those in wife Sasmita’s name. The sleuths also unearthed deposits worth crores of rupees in several banks and Rs 38 lakh cash from Samal’s possession.

The relative standard deviation (RSD) value of 25 plots, including registration and stamp duty, has reportedly been estimated at around Rs 3,41,58,412. The actual price of the plots is said to be much higher.

The Vigilance officials had conducted raids at multiple locations linked to the OPHWC assistant engineer in Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak and Balasore after obtaining a warrant from the Special Vigilance Court yesterday.

The raids were conducted at Samal's Bhubaneswar office, ancestral house at Haripur in Simulia block of Balasore, three-storey building at IRC Village, a six storey building located opposite of Maa Bhagabati temple near Biju Patnaik College Chowk at Jayadev Vihar, a single-storey building at Sarakantra in Khandagiri, a flat on the second floor of Narendra Villa in Jayadev Vihar and a three storey apartment- Ananya Towers at Balisahi under Basudevpur block in Bhadrak.

A temporary residence of Samal's associate at Ananya Towers and a house of Samal's relative at Haripur under Simulia block of Balasore district were also scanned by the probe agency.

It is worth mentioning that Samal had thrown away Rs 20 lakh in cash stashed in a bag to his neighbour’s terrace yesterday when the Vigilance officials were waiting at his doorstep to carry out searches at his triple-storey house in IRC village. However, the Vigilance recovered the bag and found additional Rs 18 lakh cash from his house during the searches.

Samal has been posted as an assistant engineer in OPHWC and draws a salary of around Rs 80,000 per month.

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