CBI makes two more arrests in Paradip port bribery case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two more persons in connection with the Rs 25 lakh Paradip Port Trust (PPT) bribery case, sources said on Saturday.

The CBI had arrested PPT chief mechanical engineer Saroj Kumar Das and three others on Friday after conducting raids at several places in the state.

After their interrogation, the agency arrested Charchit Mishra, director of Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL) and the son of the state’s leading industrialist, Mahimananda Mishra, on Saturday, the sources said.

The agency also apprehended real-estate developer Sisir Kumar Das in this connection, which took the total number of arrests made so far in this case to six.

After producing them before a local court, the CBI has taken them on remand. The accused will again be produced before the special court on August 10.

Mishra’s lawyer Joydeep Pal claimed that there is no direct evidence against his client.

“As he is the director of OSL and was looking after the business at Paradip port, he has been arrested,” Pal said.

Apart from Charchit, Sisir and the engineer of the port, the others arrested include Surya Narayan Sahoo, Deputy GM (operations) of OSL, Sumanta Rout and Sankha Subhra Mitra, the manager of Kolkata-based logistics company Karam Chand Thapar (KCT).

As per sources, OSL officials allegedly damaged the conveyor belt at the Paradip port while unloading cargo, and its repairment cost the port a lot.

The port’s Chief Mechanical Engineer, in alleged conspiracy with Charchit, Mitra, and conduit Sumanta Rout, got it repaired with funds from the Paradip Port Trust.

In return, on behalf of Das, the conduit allegedly demanded Rs 60 lakh as bribe. Accordingly, he collected Rs 25 lakh from Cuttack and kept Rs 10 lakh separately for himself, the CBI said.

It was also alleged that the conduit handed over Rs 10 lakh to Sisir, with whom Saroj had allegedly booked a property.

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