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Fraud perpetrated for ITDC Nilachal Ashok hotel sale in Puri, one arrested

The beach-side sprawling hotel located adjacent to Raj Bhawan in Puri and spread across a six-acre patch of prime land had become functional in 1988 and was later shut in 2005 due to recurring loss-making. The centre plans to restore it through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

A man, who impersonated as an official of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to deceive a couple in Puri by making a fictitious agreement for the sale of ITDC Nilachal Ashok hotel in the pilgrim town, was arrested by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Odisha police.

The beach-side sprawling hotel located adjacent to Raj Bhawan in Puri and spread across a six-acre patch of prime land had become functional in 1988 and was later shut in 2005 due to recurring loss-making. The centre plans to restore it through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The accused Anikesh Mohanty had entered into a criminal conspiracy with two fraudsters including Chandan Akash Mohanty, a former contractual Assistant Engineer in Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) to author the fake sale deed. The victims- Bijayini Mohanty and Tapan Kumar Mohanty- fell into their trap and were deceived to the tune of Rs 50 lakh, EOW officials said.

The fraud plot was executed in January 2020. One of Chandan Akash Mohanty impersonated himself as senior officer of ITDC Limited while the accused Anikesh Sahu introduced himself as a contractor working with different projects of ITDC. Another accomplice of the dup impersonated himself as a clerk of ITDC and had managed to convince the couple for the sale deed of the ITDC hotel. The sale deed had been finalized at Rs 15 crore including Rs 3 crore towards the under-the-table commission, said Deputy Inspector General of Police, STF-Crime Branch, Jay Narayan Pankaj.

During February 2020, the accused persons had executed an agreement with him, wherein accused Chandan Akash Mohanty signed in the capacity of the authorized signatory for ITDC Ltd. While the accused Anikesh and another man signed as witnesses. Taking the couple for a ride, the trio deceived them to the tune of Rs 50 lakh.

After coming to know of the act of deception, a complaint was lodged by the victims in this connection. Ironically, Tapan Kumar Mohanty suffered cardiac arrest following the fraud and is currently turned paralytic and afflicted with the loss of speech and memory.

It may be recalled here that Chandan Akash Mohanty, a B. Tech. The engineer had deceived the special class contractor Dhanurdhara Champatiray of Rs 3 crore by awarding them fictitious work orders of civil construction works of the corporation and was arrested on 22 August last.

It has been found that accused Chandan Akash Mohanty and his accomplices have deceived several persons in a similar fashion. Investigation of the case is continuing to nab the other accused persons involved in this case and in similar kinds of frauds, DIG Pankaj concluded.