Industrialist Mahima Mishra appeared before the CBI at the central agency's Bhubaneswar office on Friday in connection with a bribery case involving over Rs 25 lakh. The investigating agency arrested four senior officials including chief mechanical engineer of Paradip Port Trust Saroj Das and three private persons including the middleman in this connection.
A case was registered against Das and others.
According to CBI sources, Das had the habit of demanding and accepting bribes through his close conduit for extending undue benefits to various private stake holders engaged in port service and activities at Paradip Port.
The said conduit was in close contact with Manager Port Operations. It was further alleged that while unloading cargo, a Cuttack-based private company damaged the conveyor belt operational in Paradip Port. The cost of repairing or replacing of the conveyor belt was very high. Das in conspiracy with the conduit, middleman and director of the said private company got it repaired at the cost of Port Trust causing huge monetary advantage to the private company. In turn, the conduit allegedly demanded Rs 60 lakh bribe for the said favour on behalf of Das.
The release issued by CBI further stated that the conduit collected the bribe of Rs 25 lakh from Cuttack and kept Rs 10 lakh separately. It was also alleged that the conduit handed over Rs 10 lakh to a real estate developer in Bhubaneswar with whom Das had allegedly booked a property.
CBI intercepted the said conduit in Paradip and recovered Rs 5 lakh of the alleged bribe money from him. Later, the investigating sleuths recovered Rs 18.30 lakh from him. During further searches, Rs 25 lakh (approx.), jewellery, documents related to investment and other incriminating documents were recovered from the residence of Das.
Searches were also conducted at 15 locations including in Paradip, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Bhubaneswar and recovered Rs41 lakh from the premises of Director of said private company.
The arrested accused will be produced today before the Competent Court.
Addressing media, Mishra said “CBI had summoned me for which I came to the central agency’s office but I don’t know the reason behind the summons. I have full faith in judicial system. CBI issued a notice to me. I will reveal everything after talking to concerned investigating official.”
It is believed that the CBI team has got some clues during its raids yesterday and invited Mishra to ascertain his link with the bribery.