BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK:As Sushant Dhal Samanta was mopping up money from extortion and tender-fixing and tried to ‘legalise’ the trade by indulging in ore raising and coal transport, younger brother Sushil was busy creating another front for their business of crime through a newspaper.
Newsline, a weekly newspaper, was not only being printed, published and owned by Sushil, he also wrote editorials on varied subjects of politics, governance and even capital punishment.
The newspaper, which received registration in 2011, brought out several editions till October last year. It also had an online edition.
Since Sushil had political ambitions and was seen hobnobbing with political leaders from BJD, BJP and Congress, the newspaper was a safe route through which he could garner clout to further his cause.
While his younger sibling was busy charting the route for a political career, Sushant was wallowing in ore raising and transport business because of the muscle power and money he had made from his crime business empire. Commissionerate Police said, his businesses are still being verified.
Meanwhile, the police team which was sent to Visakhapatnam has found several bank accounts in the name of Manoj Patnaik, the identity Sushant had acquired for a transport business in the coastal town. From one account, at least Rs seven lakh was seized while other accounts are being searched.
Commissionerate Police is also checking claims that they toured Western and Central Asian countries apart from Thailand. It was also verifying whether the brothers had acquired passports and travelled abroad for any business interest. Though getting a passport against their original identities was not possible, police is verifying if Sushant had secured one as Manoj.
“He had a PAN card in the name of Manoj Patnaik and several bank accounts. He also had a residence address. So, it may not have been difficult for him to get a passport,” sources said. Similarly, a verification for Sushil is underway. The sources of the firearms are being ascertained. The carbine, sources said, is believed to have come from Ishapur Rifle Factory in West Bengal’s Barrackpore.
Earlier in the day, the two brothers were sent on a seven-day remand by a Cuttack-court against the police prayer for a 10-day custody. After he was taken out of the court, Sushil even said the crackdown against him and Sushant was a political conspiracy.
Last evening, Cuttack Police arrested two of their aides Ramachandra Das and Bharat Bhushan Swain from whose possession four guns, 160 rounds of bullets and Rs 12.44 lakh in cash were seized.