Paradip Port Bribery Case: CBI Arrests Mahima Mishra’s Son Charchit

Bhubaneswar: A day after arresting four persons in connection with a bribery case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested Charchit Mishra, the son of industrialist and Managing Director (MD) of Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL) Mahimananda Mishra (Mahima Mishra).

Advocate Jaydeep Pal informed that after learning that he was named an accused in the case, Charchit had deposed before the CBI in Bhubaneswar today. He has been booked under section 120B of the IPC and several sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Pal said that they will apply for bail.

The CBI had yesterday arrested Chief Mechanical Engineer of Paradip Port Trust, Saroj Kumar Das; his conduit Sumant Rout; DGM of Orissa Stevedores Limited, Surya Narayan Sahoo; and Manager Port Operations of KCT Group, Sankha Subhra Mitra.

According to sources, the arrest was made under a case registered against Das and others including private persons and a private company.

It was alleged that the port official was in the habit of demanding and accepting bribes through his close conduit for extending undue benefits to various private stakeholders engaged in port service and activities at Paradip port.

“The said conduit of CME was in close contact with Manager Port Operations (also allegedly acting as a middleman with other Cargo companies) of a private group of companies & other persons,” the CBI stated.

It was further alleged that while unloading cargo, a private company based at Cuttack (Odisha), damaged the conveyor belt operational in Paradip Port.

The cost of repairing/replacement of the conveyor belt was very high. The said CME in conspiracy with conduit, middleman & Director of the said private company got it repaired at the cost of Port Trust causing huge monetary advantage to said private company. In turn, the conduit allegedly demanded Rs 60 lakh as a bribe for the said favour, allegedly on behalf of CME.

Accordingly, he collected the bribe amount of Rs 25 lakh from Cuttack and kept Rs 10 lakh separately for themselves. It was also alleged that the conduit handed over Rs 10 lakh to a real estate developer in Bhubaneshwar, with whom the Chief Mechanical Engineer had allegedly booked a property.

CBI intercepted the said conduit in Paradip and recovered Rs 5 lakh of the alleged bribe money from him. Later, Rs 18.30 lakh also as part of the alleged bribe was recovered. During further searches, Rs 20.25 lakh (approximately), jewellery, documents related to investment, and other incriminating documents were recovered from the residence of the Chief Mechanical Engineer.

Searches were also conducted at 15 locations including in Paradip, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur & Bhubaneshwar at the premises of the accused. Rs 41 lakh (approximately) was recovered from the premises of the Director of the said private company.

Reportedly, the CBI had on Thursday carried out simultaneous raids on property linked to Mahima Mishra in connection with the case. Searches were being conducted at his residence at Odia Bazar in Cuttack, and the OSL offices at Link Road and Badapadi in Paradip. He had yesterday appeared before the officials of the central agency in Bhubaneswar.