Vikash Sharma

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Friday arrested two fraudsters on charges of cheating over Rs 1 crore from a businessman by posing as IAS and PWD officer, respectively.

The accused have been identified as Suryamani Tripathy and Amit Kumar who hail from Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, respectively.

While Suryamani has been working as a clerk in the office of the Directorate of Technical Education & Training (DTET) in Cuttack, Amit is currently unemployed. The duo was nabbed based on the complaint filed by Rikab Chand Manot alias Mukesh Jain, the proprietor of Rashtriya Stainless Steel, New Delhi.

The firm also has its branch office at Bhubaneswar which is managed by Mukesh’s son Akshay. The accused used Odisha Niwas, New Delhi to strike deal and gain trust of the victims.

They had also saved the mobile phone numbers of senior IAS, IPS, OAS officers and Judges on their phones to impress people, EOW officials said.

EOW officials said that the complainant had initially come in contact with one Rajesh Gahlot who introduced himself as an officer of RAW having connections with several IAS officers in Odisha.

It is alleged that Rajesh introduced the businessman father and son to the accused Suryamani by identifying himself as an IAS officer (Additional Secretary to Government of Odisha) in Public Works Department in 2017.

“The businessman and his son were promised high value government contracts/ work orders under Pradhan Mantri Yojana in Odisha. In 2018, the accused Suryamani called them to EIC, Nirman Soudha in Bhubaneswar to execute agreement with PWD. Later, Suryamani introduced them to Amit as an Engineer with PWD,” EOW said in a release.

During probe it was ascertained that both the accused- Suryamani and Amit again called the business and his son to Bhubaneswar and asked them to deposit Rs 25 lakh with the Government Treasury for registering their firm with PWD Odisha on the pretext of issuing work order.

“The accused Suryamani handed over two work orders to the complainant, purportedly issued by Assistant Engineer, EIC (Civil) Nirman Soudha for a contract value of Rs 3 and Rs 4 crore on March 15, 2018. On August 21, 2018 the accused handed over two work orders having contract value of Rs 32.52 crore and Rs 47.52 crore and asked the complainant to pay money on the pretext of expediting the process,” the release read.

The fraud came to light after Suryamani issued a fake letter, purportedly signed by the Accounts Officer EIC (Civil) Nirman Soudha to a private bank for transfer of Rs 4.68 crore to the company of the complainant towards payment of 20 per cent advance against the work order.

EOW officials said that the complainant started to doubt when no work order was issued and sought RTI about the accused persons. Later on finding that all documents including treasury receipts were fake, the complainant registered a case in connection with fraud.

“Several fake orders, agreements, treasury receipts have been seized and it is suspected that the accused might have cheated other persons also,” the EOW said in a release.

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