Bhubaneswar: The state Vigilance department, Thursday, continued its raids on Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Abhay Kant Pathak in connection with a disproportionate assets case. The anti-corruption officials have so far estimated that Pathak’s ill-gotten properties would be 20 times more than his actual sources of income.
A team of around 150 Vigilance sleuths have been carrying out multiple raids at 13 locations including 5 places in Odisha, seven places in Maharashtra and one place in Bihar for the last 30 hours.
Places having links with Pathak, the Additional PCCF (plan, programme and afforestation), his son, relatives and drivers within and outside Odisha are being raided, said Vigilance sources. The vigilance officers informed about the ongoing verification process at several other places in Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Pune in Maharashtra, and Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The Vigilance officials have till now traced cash and properties worth several crores. The sleuths estimated that the properties would be more than 20 times of his actual sources of income. Sources also claimed that the Vigilance officials seized gold ornaments weighing around Rs 800 grams worth Rs 23 lakh, Rs 60 lakh cash from his house. The sleuths also found that Rs 9.4 crore have been deposited in various bank accounts of his son. As many as Rs 8.4 crore out of the total deposits have been deposited in through ATMs at Nayapalli and Sahid Nagar here on various occasions.
The sleuths also found possession of three luxury cars like Mercedes, BMW and Tata Harier along with three Yamaha FZs which were registered in his son’s name.
Similarly, in Pune, his son was allegedly using three luxury cars including two Mercedes on a hiring basis. He had paid Rs 25 lakh as hiring charges for the costly vehicles.
Pathak’s son has paid over Rs 1 crore as the house rent for luxury flats in hotels and farm houses. Hotel Taj Palace was paid a fat bill of Rs 90 lakh while Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur has been booked for Rs 20 lakh.
Pathak also travelled various foreign countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, UAE, The Maldives and The UK during the last several months. Pathak had paid Rs 3 crore towards booking of chartered planes for travelling to cities like Patna, Mumbai and Delhi.
The sleuths came across a number flight tickets worth over several lakhs from the office and houses of Pathak.
The officials were also shocked to find the lavish lifestyle of Pathak during the raids. Pathak has also planned to allegedly splurge huge money for the destination wedding ceremony of his son scheduled to be held in December.
The Vigilance officials will interrogate Pathak’s son Akash after bringing him from Mumbai. The sleuths came to know that Akash was falsely identifying himself as a senior managing director (in-charge) of a reputed automobile company. He has allegedly cheated many job aspirants of lakhs too. The state Crime Branch has been investigating the allegations lodged by the company authorities a few months back.
Notably, the Union government had informed the state government to keep a vigil on Pathak after he was found using chartered flights for 22 times during the lockdowns.
The Vigilance department is yet to reveal the actual amount of properties traced during the multiple raids.