Poonam Singh

The enormity of corruption by people in the government machinery often makes even the probe agencies scratch their heads. In one such incident which left the Vigilance sleuths speechless, a senior official of Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation Limited on Tuesday reportedly dumped a box-full of cash to evade scanner of the agency during a raid.

The Vigilance sleuths on Tuesday carried out simultaneous raids at the houses and property of Odisha Police Housing Corporation Deputy Manager Pratap Kumar Samal, on charges that the government servant has accumulated massive amount of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

According to reports, the official tried to dispose off cash in his possession by throwing it onto the building of a neighbour in IRC Village, however, Vigilance seluths recovered the box-full of cash from the spot. After thorough inspection, the officials confiscated cash of Rs 20 lakh from the roof of the neighbour and also recovered currency worth over Rs 18 lakh from Samal's residence.

The anti-corruption agency conducted simultaneous searches in Bhubaneswar, Bharak and Balasore after obtaining warrants for the raids from the Special Vigilance Court.

The raids were conducted at the Samal's Bhubaneswar office, ancestral house in Balasore, triple storeyed building in IRC Village, a six storeyed building located opposite of Maa Bhagabati Temple, Biju Pattanaik College Chhak, Jayadev Vihar, a single storeyed building in Khandagiri, a flat in Jayadev Vihar, Bhubaneswar and a three storeyed apartment- Ananya Towers in Bhadrak. 

A temporary residence of Samal's associate at Ananya Towers and a house of Samal's relative at Balasore's Simulia were also scanned by the probe agency. 

The Vigilance has so far unearthed a total of 22 plots and 3 buildings owned by Samal. He alone has 17 plots and 2 buildings in Bhubaneswar, 5 plots and a building in Balasore.  

As many as 10 teams led by 1 Additional SP, 5 DSPs, 7 Inspectors and other staff are conducting the searches.

As the raids are still underway, the exact worth of disproportionate assets unearthed is yet to be ascertained.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)