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‘Godman’ posed as OTDC chief, conned contractor Rs 3 cr

Along with him, EOW held Chandan Akash Mohanty, an engineer who has previously worked with OTDC.

Published: 23rd August 2021 09:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2021 09:35 AM   |  A+A-

Handcuffs, Arrest

For representational purposes. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: A self-styled godman who impersonated as chairman of State-run Odisha Tourism Development Corporation was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of Crime Branch for issuing fake work orders to a super class contractor and cheating him to the tune of Rs 3 crore.

Bijayananda Choudhury, alias Shri Swami Bijayanandaji Maharaj, was picked up from his CDA area house in Cuttack on Saturday. Along with him, EOW held Chandan Akash Mohanty, an engineer who has previously worked with OTDC.

The duo had made away Rs 3 crore from special class contractor Dhanurdhara Champatiray after issuing fake work order. Basing on a complaint from OTDC, the agency’ launched an investigation into the matter and ascertained that fake work orders of the State undertaking were issued in favour of Champatiray and the two collected huge amount from him towards Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). 

Bijayananda Choudhury

The EOW sources said Champatiray was attempting to get work from OTDC during the pandemic. Earlier in May, he was introduced to Choudhury through a relative. The self-styled godman claimed to be OTDC chairman and also a member of India Tourism Development Corporation. 

Choudhury then introduced Champatiray to Mohanty who claimed that he was an assistant engineer with OTDC though he his term with the corporation had ended on May 31, 2019. The two promised work orders to Champatiray from OTDC and instructed him to deposit huge amount towards EMD in the personal bank account of Mohanty. 

‘Godman’ posed as OTDC chief, conned contractor Rs 3 crore

Between August and November 2020, Mohanty handed over 23 fake work orders relating to repair and renovation of Panthanivas at Barkul and Rambha. The work orders were issued under the fake seal and signature of OTDC’s executive engineer. Towards the ‘work orders’, Champatiray paid Rs 3 crore.

Of the total swindled amount, around Rs 1.14 crore was deposited in the personal account of Mohanty at Andhra Bank’s Lewis Road branch in the city. Mohanty also paid a huge sum to Choudhury for his help in conning the contractor. When Champatiray got no work, he contacted OTDC only to realise the mess he had walked into.

“All work orders were found to be fake and manufactured by using forged signatures and seals which were not issued by OTDC,” said DIG, EOW Jai Narayan Pankaj. A case was registered under sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of IPC on Saturday. The duo was produced before a court in Bhubaneswar on Sunday and further probe is on.



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