Manoj Kumar Jena

A day after a couple from Aska in Ganjam was arrested for cheating people after promising them to give new cars at discounted rates, startling revelations are now surfacing, indicating their links with some police personnel.

According to sources, Akshay Gouda and his wife Usharani Gouda were running a used car showroom named Maa Pattakhanda Automobiles in Bhubaneswar and they were arrested yesterday. 

The alleged link of cops with the accused couple came up during interrogation.

Questions on police-nexus in the entire fraud have raised eyebrows after it was learnt that Sub Inspector (SI) Smruti Ranjan Mohanty posted in Nayagarh and Constable Ramesh Chandra Behera, who works in Commissionerate police, allegedly had some monetary transactions with the accused couple.

According to the reports from Nayapali Police, Smruti Ranjan received Rs 20 lakh through a cheque on August 18 this year. However, Smruti Ranjan denied knowing Akshay.

On the other hand, Ramesh has allegedly given Rs 5.96 crore to the accused couple as per an agreement.
Responding to this, Ramesh said the money doesn’t belong to him. Rather, it was given by an interested buyer to Akahya through him for a vehicle. 

Sources said evidence regarding payment of around Rs 3.5 crore made by the son of an Additional SP from Western Odisha to the accused has also been found.

After the monetary dealings between the accused and police surfaced, questions remain on how far the probe in the case will be impartial?

“After the complaint, the couple was arrested yesterday. Some cops are allegedly protecting them and took Rs 20 lakh for their protection,” said the complainant. 

Responding to the allegations, police SI Smruti Ranjan said, “That person is a fraud. He has also sent money to others and the transactions were blocked subsequently. That was a fraud account. Truth will come after verification.”

“I previously bought a motorcycle from the couple. Hence, the interested buyers gave money to the couple through me. It is not my money,” said police constable Ramesh.

It is to be noted that the accused couple is sent for one day remand and the police have extracted many crucial information from them. 

The accused was allegedly buying lands from the duped money. 

“We have written letters to banks and the Revenue department to share the details of the properties of the couple. The people who are involved in the case will also face charges,” said Bhubaneswar DCP, Prateek Singh.