OPHWC official Pratap Samal detained by Odisha Vigilance as bank deposits, plots worth crores found

Bhubaneswar: Vigilance today detained Odisha Police Housing & Welfare Corporation (OPHWC) Deputy Manager Pratap Kumar Samal for questioning as he and his family members have been found in possession of properties worth crores.

The anti-corruption agency had yesterday raided multiple places in connection with allegation against Samal regarding possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The searches concluded, early this morning.

Odisha Vigilance officials have unearthed as many as 25 immovable properties worth crores, including 22 plots and 3 buildings, possessed by Samal and his wife Sasmita. The properties include 17 plots and two buildings in Bhubaneswar and Khurda.

The value of the immovable properties including registration and stamp duty is Rs 3,41,58,412. The actual price is likely to be higher. Valuation of a five storeyed building at Gothapatna here is Rs 3,89,60,000, as per self-declaration of Samal and his wife, official sources said.

Technical valuation of other buildings was being done by the Technical Wing of Odisha Vigilance. Deposits of Rs 1,61,35,812.50 were found in the bank accounts of Samal and his family members. This apart, insurance premium of Rs 57,72,150 has been paid by them, the sources added.

The bank accounts have been freezed while further investigation was underway.

Moments before raid by the Vigilance yesterday, the official reportedly tried to dispose unaccounted cash and threw a bag containing around Rs 20 lakh to an abandoned building near his house. The Vigilance later seized the bag and cash. Vigilance officials also seized Rs 38.12 lakh in cash from the house of Samal here.

As many as 10 teams of Odisha Vigilance conducted the searches on the strength of search warrants issued by the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar.

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