CBI arrests DGM of Odisha firm, 3 others in bribery case

 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) logo at CBI HQ, in New Delhi. File

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) logo at CBI HQ, in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The CBI has arrested four people, including a Deputy General Manager (DGM) of Orissa Stevedores Limited, in a ₹25 lakh bribery case involving a Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Paradip Port Trust, officials said Friday.

Saroj Kumar Das, Chief Mechanical Engineer of Paradip Port Trust, had allegedly demanded ₹60 lakh as bribe from the company through his conduit Sumanta Rout to let it off without paying for the repair of a conveyor belt at the port that was damaged during unloading of its goods, they said.

The CBI team has arrested Rout, Das, a private person Sankha Subhra Mitra, and DGM of Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL) Surya Narayan Sahu in connection with the case, the officials said.

The CBI has also named Debapriya Mohanty, of KCT Group, Charchit Mishra, Director of OSL, and the private company Orissa Stevedores Ltd in the FIR, they said.

During searches at 15 locations, the CBI also seized ₹84.5 lakh in cash, they said.

"It was alleged that the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME), Paradip Port Trust (Odisha), was in the habit of demanding and taking bribes through his close conduit (Rout) for extending undue benefits to various private stakeholders engaged in port service and activities at the Paradip Port," the CBI said in a statement here.

Rout was in regular contact with Mitra who was Manager Port Operations of KCT group of companies and also allegedly acted as a middleman with other Cargo companies, officials said.

The CBI has alleged that while unloading cargo, the OSL had damaged the conveyor belt operational in Paradip Port. "The cost of repairing/replacement of the conveyor belt was very high. The said CME (Das) in conspiracy with conduit (Rout), middleman (Mitra) and Director (Sahu) of said private company got it repaired at the cost of the Port Trust, causing huge monetary advantage to said private company," the probe agency said.

"In turn, the conduit (Rout) allegedly demanded ₹60 lakh as bribe for the favour, on behalf of the CME," the statement read. Rout collected the bribe amount of ₹25 lakh from Cuttack, it said.

"It was also alleged that the conduit handed over ₹10 lakh to a real estate developer in Bhubaneshwar, with whom the CME had allegedly booked a property," the CBI said in the statement.

The CBI intercepted Rout in Paradip and recovered ₹5 lakh of the alleged bribe money from him.

"Later, ₹18.30 lakh, also part of the alleged bribe, was recovered. During further searches, ₹20.25 lakh (approx.), jewellery, documents related to investment and other incriminating documents were recovered from the CME's residence," the statement said.

The CBI conducted searches at 15 locations on the premises of the accused, including in Paradip, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Bhubaneshwar, during which ₹41 lakh was recovered from the premises of the OSL director.

The arrested accused will be produced before the competent court on Friday, it said.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 5:28:20 pm |