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The Hindu
The Hindu
Satyasundar Barik

Vigilance seizes ₹1.36 crore from Odisha engineer

The Vigilance Directorate of Odisha claimed that they have seized ₹1.36 crore from an engineer — the highest ever cash seizure in the history of the State’s anti-corruption agency — on Monday.

When vigilance sleuths raided a Cuttack-based apartment belonging to the wife of Ashish Kumar Dash, Superintending Engineer of Rural Works of Malkangiri, they were in for a surprise.

“The apartment had a locker akin to strongroom locker used by banks for stashing wads of notes. Sleuths found ₹1.15 crore from the locker. Besides, 632 gm of gold including biscuits and coins were recovered,” said the officer.

“Earlier ₹21.75 lakh and 602 gm of gold were recovered at Malkangiri. With this, the total recovery comes to ₹1,36,75,000 and 1.2 kg gold,” said the Vigilance Directorate.

12 bank accounts

Moreover, the Vigilance Department detected about 12 bank accounts in Axis Bank in the name of family members, distant relatives and associates operated by Mr. Dash. The engineer had deposited ₹2.25 crore in cash.

“Earlier, deposits worth ₹1.77 crore were unearthed. With this, deposits in the shape of fixed deposits, savings and insurance has been estimated at ₹4 crore. Verification of various bank accounts and two bank lockers is yet to be completed. The worth of assets is likely to increase,” the directorate said.

It all started when Vigilance Directorate officials intercepted calls that Mr. Dash was carrying ₹10.23 lakh on the night of March 25. He did not have satisfactory answers as to how the cash was sourced.

It led the vigilance sleuths to search his official quarters and office at Malkangiri. A total of ₹21.75 lakh and 602 gm of gold, including 17 gold coins, were recovered during the raid. It was also found that he had purchased a flat worth ₹32.30 lakh in the name of his wife at Belagachia on the outskirts of Cuttack.

18 fixed deposits

More shockingly, the engineer had 18 fixed deposits in Axis Bank accounts at Malkangiri, amounting to ₹78 lakh from March 18, 2021, to February 10, 2022. The deposits in the shape of premium and insurance were tallied at ₹44 lakh.

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