Bhubaneswar: Remember the iconic Natwarlal and the Bollywood flick Bunty Aur Babli? While Natwarlal, the real-life con man sold the Taj Mahal thrice, Bunty Babli tried the trick in reel-life.
Why are we talking this? Apparently, an Odia man has taken inspiration from them and tried to sell Hotel Nilachal Ashok of ITDC in Puri. Well, he could not. The accused is Anikesh Sahu.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Bhubaneswar arrested Sahu from Buxi Bazar in Cuttack for duping a Puri-based couple of huge amount of money by promising them to sell the ITDC hotel. He was forwarded to SDJM court, Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
The couple is Bijayini Mohanty and Tapan, who is the proprietor of TK Egg & Chicken Centre, Puri and carries on wholesale business of egg & chicken in the city.
On October 22, Bijayini filed a complaint in Puri accusing Anikesh and another Chandan Akash Mohanty (former contractual Assistant Engineer in OTDC, Bhubaneswar) of cheating them by impersonating as senior officers of ITDC authorised by Tourism Secretary, New Delhi and trying to sell the ITDC hotel. She alleged that the accused made a false agreement with Tapan for the sale of Hotel Nilachal Ashok Hotel, ITDC at Puri and collected huge amount from him.
The planning started in January 2020. Chandan impersonating himself as senior officer of ITDC Ltd and Anikesh Sahu introducing himself as a contractor working with different projects of ITDC along with another, who impersonated himself as a clerk of ITDC had met Tapan through one of his friends and persuaded him to purchase Hotel Nilachal Ashok Hotel of ITDC at Puri for Rs 15 crores.
In February 2020, the accused executed an agreement with Tapan which was signed by Chandan Akash as the authorised signatory for ITDC Ltd. while Akash Sahu and another person signed as witnesses.
They had collected more than Rs. 50 lakh from Tapan through bank transactions as well as cash. In order to win Tapan’s trust, the accused persons first made him deposit Rs 20 lakh in the official account of ITDC at Delhi and took Rs 30 lakh in cash to pursue the sale.
But, when Tapan did not get any confirmation from ITDC Ltd, he doubted the authenticity of the sale proposal and on verification learnt that he has been deceived. When Tapan requested accused to return his money they made different pleas.
After having lost a huge amount of money, Tapan suffered a brain stroke and is now bedridden with paralysis. He also lost his speech and memory due to which his wife filed the complaint.
Hotel Nilachal Ashok is situated close to Raj Bhawan in Puri and was built in 1983. Investigation into the case is on to nab the other accused.