Rs. 84.5 lakhs in cash was recovered from them in a bribery case. (Representational Image)
KOLKATA: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an official of Paradip Port Trust in Odisha along with three others and recovered around Rs. 84.5 lakhs in cash from them in a bribery case.
The three arrested are Saroj Kumar Das, Chief Mechanical Engineer of Paradip Port Trust, his aide Sumanta Rout alias Bana, Sankha Subhra Mitra, Manager (Port Operations) of KCT Group and Surya Narayan Sahoo, DGM (Operations) of Orissa Stevedores Limited.
The CBI also booked Debapriya Mohanty of KCT Group and Orissa Stevedores Ltd and its director Charchit Mishra among others in the case. According to the CBI, Das used to demand and accept bribes through Rout who had links with Mitra, acting as a middleman with other cargo companies.
While unloading cargo, a Cuttack-based private company allegedly damaged the conveyor belt operational at Paradip Port. The conveyor belt's replacement was very expensive.
Das, Rout and Mitra in connivance with others however got it repaired at the cost of the port causing huge monetary advantage to a private company, the CBI said. In turn, Mr Rout allegedly demanded Rs. 60 lakhs as bribe for the favour.
He collected Rs. 25 lakhs, a part of the bribe, from Cuttack, kept Rs. 10 lakhs out of it separately for himself and handed over Rs. 10 lakhs to a real estate developer in Bhubaneswar with whom Das had allegedly booked a property.
The CBI caught Mr Rout in Paradip and recovered Rs. 5 lakhs, a part of the bribe money, from him and later another part, Rs. 18.30 lakhs. During further searches, nearly Rs. 20.25 lakhs of jewellery, documents related to investment and other incriminating documents were recovered from Das' residence.
Searches were also conducted at 15 locations including in Paradip, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Bhubaneshwar at the premises of the accused. Around Rs. 41 lakhs were recovered from the premises of a director of a private company.