BHUBANESWAR: A day after the State Vigilance mounted its biggest operation against senior IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, the anti-corruption bureau found a mindboggling Rs 9.4 crore deposits in the bank accounts of his son Akash at Bhubaneswar. At least Rs 8.4 crore were cash deposits made through two ATMs in Bhubaneswar which has the Vigilance looking for more as it has also found evidence of transactions made between the father and son. Akash, who is now facing a fraud charge, has been brought from Pune to Bhubaneswar.
The Crime Branch is probing him basing on Tata Motors’ complaint that Akash falsely claimed to be MD of its Transport Division. He is an engineering graduate from I T E R in Bhubaneswar. The source of the wealth and ostentatious lifestyle is being ascertained as the Vigilance sources said Akash did not have a business of his own though he operated out of two plush flats, office and farmhouse in Pune for which he had paid over Rs 1 crore as rent. “We found that the family travelled together and used charter flights for the purpose. The charter flight bills stand at Rs 3 crore. It could go further up,” said an officer.
According to an official release, charter flights were used from and to cities like Bhubaneswar, Pune, Patna, Mumbai, Jamshedpur and Delhi. Some trips were allegedly during the lockdown period which has surprised many. Akash is believed to have used charter flight from Juhu (in Mumbai) to Pune. “The 13-seater aircraft the Pathaks booked required a payment of Rs 25 lakh. Even their domestic help travelled by that,” said the sources.
Abhay and his family members also made foreign trips to Malaysia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Maldives and details have been obtained by the Vigilance officers. The Vigilance will soon start investigating the 1987 batch IFS officer’s official position and the activities conducted under his watch.
A 150-member strong team of Odisha Vigilance searched five places in Bhubaneswar, seven in Mumbai and Pune and at one place in Bihar. The operation that started on Wednesday is continuing. Searches were conducted at Abhay’s residence, office and flat in Bhubaneswar, that of his relative in Ghatikia, his driver’s house in Pipili and native place in Bihar’s Khagaria district. Searches were also conducted at the residence of Akash’s manager at Samata Colony in Pune and house and restaurant of his associate at Juhu and Mulund in Mumbai.
Luxury cars like Mercedes, BMW and Tata Harrier along with three motorcycles registered in Akash’s name were traced during operation. He has also been hiring luxury vehicles on rent. Three vehicles including two Mercedes cars were found to have been taken on rent by him.
So far,Rs 25 lakh has been paid by him towards renting of vehicles. The luxury lifestyle of the Pathaks also led Vigilance to find Rs 90 lakh paid towards bills of Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai and an advance booking amount of Rs 20 lakh to Taj Lake Palace in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. “So far, Rs 60 lakh in cash, 800 gram gold ornaments and household articles have been traced. Documents relating to purchase of gold ornaments worth Rs 23 lakh have also been found,” said a Vigilance officer. Teams somprising chartered accountants, bank officials, Cyber Cell and Document Examination Cell officers are assisting the sleuths in the house search and verification operations.
INQUIRY SO FAR
What has raised eyebrows is that Pathak’s family allegedly travelled together in chartered flights during the lockdown
Akash is believed to have used charter flight from Juhu (in Mumbai) to Pune
Rs 60 lakh in cash, 800 gram gold ornaments and household articles have been traced so far