Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Spelling fresh trouble for suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash Pathak, the Commissionerate Police has registered another case against the duo for allegedly cheating a travel agency of over Rs 65 lakh in connection non-payment of bills for charter flights and luxurious hotels during the lockdown.

The father-son duo is presently lodged in judicial custody till December 9 in an earlier case.
On Tuesday, the Managing Partner of 'Sky KIng', a Bhubaneswar-based travel agency lodged an FIR at the Kharavela Nagar Police Station against Abhay Kant and Akash accusing them of defrauding the company of over Rs 65 lakh.

In the complaint, the travel agency alleged that Akash, impersonating himself as the Managing Director (I/C) for the passenger vehicle division of Tata Motors Limited (TML) had booked charter flights, air tickets and hotels for several locations. The company had prepared a total bill of around Rs 2.78 crore for the whirlwind travels. However, Akash and his father had paid Rs 2.13 crore and allegedly refused to pay the outstanding bill of Rs 65,16,233.

When the travel agency approached the duo for clearing the dues, Abhay and Akash allegedly threatened them with dire consequences, alleged the complainant.

Following the registration of the FIR, a team from the Commissionerate Police launched a probe into the matter and reached the travel agency's office on Wednesday morning to gathering evidence on. The police reportedly confiscated several documents submitted by Akash at Sky King for the bookings.

"Over Rs 65 lakh is due on Akash Pathak, who was our regular customer since June. They had booked hotels, charter flights and air tickets and the bookings were done on Akash Pathak's name. The bookings were made for several destinations which included Jamshedpur, Pune, Mumbai, Patna and Delhi," said an employee of Sky King.

On the other hand, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) yesterday unearthed deposits of Rs 14.77 crore in three bank accounts of Akash in Bhubaneswar and Pune.

The SIT of the Vigilance department comprising 3 Additional SsP, 4 DSsP, 3 Inspectors, Bank Consultant, Chartered Accountant and Forensic Auditor and others are conducting investigation into various aspects of the case relating to Abhay Pathak and his son.

Earlier in May, the Tata Motors Limited (TML) had lodged a complaint against Akash with the Crime Branch accusing him of committing cheating, forgery and impersonating as the Managing Director of the company and defrauding unemployed youths with job promises in TML.

The father-son were arrested by the Vigilance on November 27 on charges of accumulating massive “ill-gotten” wealth. During a country-wide search at premises belonging to the IFS officer, the vigilance stumbled upon many incriminating papers and documents pertaining to Benami properties and bank deposits worth over Rs 9.35 crore, which was about 435 per cent more than his known sources of his income.