By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, August 5, 2022: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested four persons including a senior officer of the Paradip Port Authority (PPA) in Odisha in connection with a bribery case.

The accused are chief mechanical engineer of PPA, Saroj Kumar Das, a conduit- Sumanta Rout, manager, port operations, KCT Group, Sankha Subhra Mitra and DGM, operations of Orissa Stevedores Limited Surya Narayan Sahoo.

Besides, case has been registered against Orissa Stevedores Ltd (OSL), Debapriya Mohanty of KCT Group, Charchit Mishra, director of OSL and other unknown persons.

The CBI had raided house and office of Mahimananda Mishra, managing director of OSL on Thursday. His son Chandan was quizzed at the CBI office here till late night whereas Mahimananda appeared before the agency for questioning on Friday.

“A case was registered against Saroj Das and others including private persons, a private company and unknown others. Das was in the habit of demanding and accepting bribes through his close conduit – Sumanta Rout, for extending undue benefits to various private stakeholders engaged in the port service and activities at Paradip port,” a CBI official said.

While unloading cargo, the OSL damaged the conveyor belt that was operational in the Paradip port. The cost of repairing and replacement of the conveyor belt was very high.

“Das in conspiracy with his conduit and director of OSL Charchit, got it repaired at the cost of the Port Trust causing huge monetary advantage to the OSL. In turn, the middleman allegedly demanded Rs 60 lakh as a bribe on behalf of the chief mechanical engineer,” the officer said.

Rout allegedly collected a Rs 25 lakh bribe from the OSL in Cuttack. He handed over Rs 10 lakh to a Bhubaneswar-based real estate developer, with whom Das had allegedly booked a property.

The CBI intercepted Rout in Paradip on Thursday and recovered Rs 5 lakh from him. Later, Rs 18.30 lakh more was recovered from him during the search operation.

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