The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday has arrested a Chief Mechanical Engineer, Paradip Port Trust, Odisha and three private persons including conduit, middlemen on bribery charges.
A case was registered against Chief Mechanical Engineer, Paradip Port Authority, Saroj Das and others including private persons of a setvoder company. They were later arrested after prima facie evidence was found against them, CBI said in a statement on Friday.
The Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME), Paradip Port Authority was in the habit of demanding and accepting bribes through his close conduit for extending undue benefits to various private stakeholders engaged in port service and activities at Paradip Port, the statement said.
The conduit of CME was in close contact with Manager Port Operations who also allegedly acted as a middleman with other Cargo companies of a private group of companies & other persons.
It was further alleged that while unloading cargo, a private company Odisha Stevedores Limited based at Cuttack (Odisha), damaged the conveyor belt operational in Paradip Port. The cost of repairing and replacing the conveyor belt was very high. The accused CME had entered into a criminal conspiracy with conduit, middleman & Director of OSL and got it repaired at the cost of Port Trust causing huge monetary advantage to OSL Company.
In turn, the conduit allegedly demanded Rs. 60 lakh as bribe for the said favour, allegedly on behalf of CME. Accordingly, he collected the bribe amount of Rs. 25 lakh from Cuttack and kept Rs. 10 lakh separately for himself. It was also alleged that the conduit handed over Rs. 10 lakh to a real estate developer in Bhubaneswar, with whom the Chief Mechanical Engineer had allegedly booked a property.
CBI intercepted the conduit in Paradip and recovered Rs. 5 lakh of the alleged bribe money from him. Later, Rs. 18.30 lakh also as part of alleged bribe was recovered. During further searches, Rs. 20.25 lakh (approx.), jewellery, documents related to investment and other incriminating documents were recovered from the residence of Chief Mechanical Engineer, CBI sleuths said.
Searches were also conducted at 15 locations including in Paradip, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur & Bhubaneswar at the premises of the accused. Rs. 41 lakh (approx.) was recovered from the premises of the Director of said private company. The arrested accused persons will be later produced today before the Competent Court, concluded the CBI sleuths.