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Vikash Sharma

The Commissionerate Police on Monday arrested a fraudster on the charges of fleecing money and acquiring property from several women across many cities in the county after marrying them. Significantly, the arrest coincides with the Valentine’s Day.

The accused, identified as Bidhu Prakash Swain (54) alias Ramesh Swain, had recently duped a woman by posing as a doctor, police said.

During probe it was found that Swain has duped 13 more women whom he had met on various matrimonial sites and social media. Most of the victims, who hail from other parts of the country, are highly educated and hold key posts in various government and private sector organisations, police said.

Bhubaneswar DCP, Umashankar Dash said that Swain has been arrested on a complaint filed by a Delhi-based teacher with the Mahila Police Station in July 2021. The victim, in her complaint, said that Swain had married her at the Arya Samaj temple in New Delhi. Dash said that the accused mostly targetted middle-aged women, especially those who were either single or looking for companions.

“His only intention was to mop up money and acquire properties of the women after marrying them,” Dash said. The accused has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections- 498 (A), 419, 468, 471 and 494.

“The accused used to win the trust of the victims by identifying himself either as a central government official or highly qualified doctor. The victims are from other states, including Delhi and Jharkhand,” said Dash.

Divulging further details, Dash said Swain had first married a woman way back in 1982. He married another woman in 2002 and has a total of five children from his first two wives.

Between 2002 and 2019, Swain started to target single middle age and women after obtaining their profile on Matrimonial websites.

In 2018, Swain had allegedly cheated Rs 10 lakh from a woman after marrying her at a Gurudwara. The victim works with the Central Armed Police Force. Not only this, he had duped Rs 11 lakh from the Gurudwara officials on the pretext of obtaining necessary permission for making a hospital operational. He then had identified himself as the Director of Health and Family Welfare department.

The Bhubaneswar DCP said since it’s a challenging case for the Mahila Police, a team of senior officers will be constituted to conduct a detailed investigation.

“We are planning to conduct a detailed financial investigation in the fraud. We will seek longer remand of the accused for a detailed probe,” he said.

Dash said the police have already contacted nine out of 14 victims conned by Swain. “Professional counsellors will be appointed to console the victims who have been traumatised by Swain’s conduct,” said Dash.

Swain who is originally from Kendarapada district lived outside Odisha most of the times. He was holed up in Assam for a long time. He used to take the victims to separate locations in Bhubaneswar after marrying them.

During a search at his house in Khandagiri area, the Commissionerate Police recovered 11 ATM cards, 4 Aadhaar cards having different identifies. A Bihar school certificate (having different identity) has also been recovered during the search.

It is not for the first time that Swain has been arrested.

In 2011, he was arrested by the Hyderabad Special Task Force for allegedly duping several unemployed youths and MBBS aspirants to the tune of Rs 2 crore.

Posing as Deputy Director General, Central Health Education and Training, Swain had duped several job aspirants in different parts of the country, police said. Significantly, Swain had also duped the owner of a nursing home in Hyderabad of several lakhs of rupees on the pretext of arranging an MBBS seat to his son.

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