Sowmya Ranjan Mahapatra, accused of duping two businessman of over Rs.1.32 crore, was detained by immigration authorities at Chennai airport when he flew in from Singapore

An Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer dismissed from service, Sowmya Ranjan Mahapatra, accused of duping two businessman of over Rs. 1.32 crore, was arrested by the city police on Monday.

He had been operating from Singapore for the past few months.

The Immigration authorities at Chennai airport detained him two days ago based on a look-out notice issued by the Hyderabad city police when he had flown in from Singapore. The Tukaramgate police of Hyderabad took him into custody from the airport authorities. He was brought to city and remanded in judicial custody after being presented in a local court.

Mahapatra worked with the South Central Railway (SCR), Secunderabad, for some time in 2004 before being transferred to the South West Central Railway at Hubli. Following allegations about misconduct and corruption, he was removed from service there.

“Since he worked in a top position in railways in Secunderabad, he came in contact with many businessmen. Dropping names of some IAS and IPS officers, he used to claim that he was well-connected with people in powerful positions,” Tukaramgate Inspector B. Sudarshan Reddy said.

He lured two businessmen, Narsaraju of Saidabad, and Venugopal of Gandhinagar, to join his business leading them to believe that he was into iron ore trade and that they can make huge money in a short span.

According to the police, he had collected Rs. 70 lakh and Rs. 62 lakh from Narsaraju and Venugopal, respectively.

Mahapatra started evading them after sometime. When Narsaraju pressurised him to return his money, the accused sent his partners – the father-son duo of Ibrahim and Yasin of Banjara Hills, to forcibly collect the business agreement papers, promissory notes and other documents from the former’s and threatened to kill him if he approached the police.

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