The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Sunday arrested two persons on charges of committing a fraud of Rs 3 crore by impersonating as Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) officials.
The mastermind of the case has been identified as Chandan Akash Mohanty, a B.Tech engineer working as an Assistant Engineer in OTDC, Bhubaneswar on contractual basis while the other conspirator is Bijayananda Choudhury alias Swami Bijayanandaji Maharaj, a self-proclaimed Baba.
The duo was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by an OTDC official. As per reports, Chandan had cheated a Special Class Contractor, Dhanurdhara Champatiray by issuing fake work orders in the name of OTDC, Bhubaneswar.
The accused also allegedly collected huge amount of funds from the contractor towards projected EMD against the work orders. Preliminary investigation revealed that the contractor Champatiray was in search of work order during Covid-19 pandemic.
In May, he along with his relative visited the accused self-styled Godman Bijayanandaji Maharaj at his residence in Cuttack.
Posing himself as the Chairman of OTDC Ltd and Member of ITDC Ltd, the Baba also introduced Champatiray with accused Chandan Akash Mohanty. Both the Baba and Chandan promised to provide work order to Champatiray in respect of works from OTDC Ltd and instructed him to deposit money towards EMD in the personal account of Chandan.
"During the period from August to November, 2020, Chandan had handed over 23 numbers of work orders for repair and renovation of Pantha Nivas at Barkul and Rambha, purportedly issued using forged seal and signature of Executive Engineer, OTDC Ltd, Bhubaneswar. Chandan managed to elicit Rs. 3 crores (approximately) from the contractor in various tranches, towards purported EMD,” the EOW said in a release.
Out of the said amount, about Rs. 1.14 crores was deposited in the personal account of Chandan in Andhra Bank, Lewis Road branch, Bhubaneswar.
“All those work orders are found to be fake and manufactured by using forged signature and seal and not issued from OTDC Ltd. It has been ascertained that out of the above a huge amount of money has been paid to accused Baba Bijayananda Choudhury by Chandan,” the EOW said in its statement.
(Edited By Suryakant Jena)