Bhubaneswar: The man initially embarked on his professional journey as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology. However, the allure of greater financial gains led him down a deceitful path. Transforming into a cunning trickster, he would alternately present himself as Vigilance SP or the Commissioner of the Excise Department. Operating under the guise of conducting vigilance raids or offering lucrative contracting assignments and liquor shop licenses, he managed to deceive numerous high-ranking officials, real estate developers, and businessmen, extracting substantial sums of money from them.
Despite being apprehended and imprisoned five times for his fraudulent activities, he persisted in repeating the same offenses upon release on bail. In the latest incident, the notorious fraudster, Manoj Majhi from the Krushnaprasad area in Puri district, was apprehended by the cyber police. His arrest was based on charges of defrauding a developer of Rs 7.6 lakhs. During the operation, the police seized Rs 2.60 lakhs in cash, 6 ATM cards, and 2 SIM cards from him.
The modus operandi involved the fraudster posing as Vigilance SP, reaching out to a contractor named Manoj Chowdhury from Rayagada ove telephone in May 2023. Claiming to have obtained Chowdhury’s number from a PWD engineer, the imposter offered two or three significant contracting assignments in the department, backed by the credibility of the Vigilance SP’s contact details. Convinced by the seemingly legitimate offer, Chowdhury transferred Rs 7.6 lakhs as security money for a government building project worth Rs 5 crore to Majhi’s bank account.
However, once the money was transferred, the scammer ceased all communication. Upon realizing he had fallen victim to fraud, contractor Manoj lodged a complaint with the cyber police. Subsequently, a police team raided the Krishnaprasad area, leading to the arrest of the fraudster. It was revealed that Majhi, formerly a psychology lecturer in a college in Udala block of Mayurbhanj district, had a history of fraud cases in various police stations.
Despite facing legal consequences in the past, his repetitive offenses indicated a pattern of using the same deceptive tactics upon release on bail, establishing him as a habitual offender.