Ramakanta Biswas

Self-proclaimed Godman Bijayananda Choudhury alias Swami Bijayanandaji Maharaj, who was recently arrested in connection with the Rs 3 crore Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) fraud case, had earlier defrauded a Ganjam-based contractor of Rs 25 lakh, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch said on Wednesday. 

According to the EOW, the accused had conned a Class 1 contractor on the pretext of helping him get tender. 

“We are verifying the character and antecedents of the accused. During scrutiny, we found that he had duped a Class 1 contractor of Rs 25 lakh. We are examining the veracity of the allegations,” said Brahmananda Gagarin Mohanty, SP of Crime Branch EOW. 

“The investigation of the case is now at an initial stage. We have frozen two accounts of the accused in State Bank of India. We leant that Rs 1 lakh was transferred to the account of the Baba through real-time gross settlement (RTGS),” Mohanty said.

The probe agency has reportedly collected crucial evidence regarding the transfer of a huge amount of cash to the bank accounts of the accused by various persons. Those persons have also been kept under the scanner.

“We are also examining the money trail of the accused and hopeful to reach at a detailed conclusion about his transitions within a few days,” he added.

Moreover, accused was seen at the Muhurat of an Odia movie, prompting the EOW to probe whether he had invested in the Ollywood.

It is noted that the EOW on Sunday arrested Bijayananda and another person on charges of committing a fraud of Rs 3 crore by impersonating as Odisha Tourism Development Corporation officials.