Bhubaneswar: Vigilance sleuths Friday unearthed unexplained assets worth over Rs1.36 crore from the residence of a top State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) officer at Khandagiri area here. Earlier, the anti corruption officers arrested the tainted officer and seized Rs 96,500 cash along with gold coins weighing ten grams from his car Thursday night at Khandagiri Bari.
According to Vigilance sources, the accused officer identified as Hadibandhu Panigrahi is the regional officer of SPCB at Jajpur. The sleuths received some confidential inputs about Panigrahi coming to Bhubaneswar from Jajpur with unaccounted cash and gold Thursday evening. Subsequently, the officers who were waiting for him at Rasulgarh, tried to stop his vehicle. However, he did not stop there. The officers followed him and intercepted his vehicle at Khandagiri Bari area under the Khandgairi police station limits. He was then arrested.
The sleuths followed up the arrest with raids at his residence at Khandagiri Friday. The sleuths during the raid unearthed huge amount of assets including gold, landed property worth Rs 90lakhs and insurance policies of Rs1.31 crore. Panigrahi failed to produce relevant documents for assets worth Rs 1,36,97,462 before the sleuths.
Vigilance registered a disproportionate assets case against Panigrahi.
Panigrahi was earlier suspended by the SBCB for allegedly giving No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to two firms, Sri Sonali Minerals and Metals at Kharidi in Jajpur and Shree Mahavir Carbon limited of Cuttack in violation of the norms in 1997.