Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The Vigilance department on Saturday seized cash and gold worth lakhs of rupees during searches of the bank lockers of Manoj Kumar Patra, an Assistant Engineer with the Sunabeda NAC, who is presently under the scanner for accumulating assets disproportionate to his known income sources.

As per reports, on the second day of the search, the vigilance sleuths opened the locker of Patra in UCO Bank's Pokhariput branch in Bhubaneswar. The sleuths recovered cash and gold jewellery which were stashed in the locker. Several silver jewellery and other items were also recovered during the searches.

The total cash recovered during two-day raid has gone up to Rs 28.61 lakh while volume of seized gold jewellery now weighs around 370 gm.  Around 290 gm of silver jewellery and other items have been recovered so far.

The seized cash will be deposited in the government treasury, informed sources. 

The raids began on Friday following allegations that Patra has acquired assets which are disproportionate to his known sources of income.

As per senior officials of the anti-corruption wing, simultaneous searches were conducted at six places linked to the official in Khordha, Gajapati, Ganjam and Koraput districts.

Earlier on Friday, the Vigilance department had recovered assets in the name of Patra and his spouse including a 3 BHK flat at Pokhariput, Bhubaneswar worth about Rs 80 lakh, a two-storied building at Berhampur worth around Rs 50.57 lakh and 7 plots including 1 plot in Bhubaneswar and 3 each in Berhampur and Koraput. 

The sleuths also unearthed fixed deposits and bank deposits worth Rs 28.75 lakh. 

One four-wheeler (Hyundai Venue) worth Rs 12.88 lakh and one two-wheeler (TVS Jupiter) worth Rs 59, 447 were also seized during the raid.