The Tata Motors job rip-off which led to the arrest of former BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahy appears to be getting larger with the Odisha CID estimating that at the least 100 youths in Ganjam district have been defrauded of something between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for a job on the firm.
Final week, the CID had arrested former BJD minister Pradeep Panigrahy on a number of felony prices together with defrauding jobless youths of lakhs of rupees by promising them with jobs at Tata Motors. Per week earlier than that, vigilance officers had acquired the wind of the large job rip-off after they arrested Abhay Pathak, a 1987-batch Indian Forest Service officer and his son Akash Pathak, a 25-year-old mechanical engineering graduate from a non-public engineering school in Bhubaneswar on prices of amassing disproportionate property. Additional interrogations of the Pathak duo by the vigilance officers introduced out the extent of the job rip-off that the junior Pathak had hatched allegedly with Panigrahy.
CID sleuths who’re investigating the Tata Motors job rip-off mentioned the junior Pathak spun an internet of lies from posing as managing director of Tata Motors ‘passenger division’ to handing out faux becoming a member of letters to the youths for the posts of graduate engineer trainees in addition to administration trainees within the Tata Motors to creating faux LinkedIn profile of himself.
His identify made it to the police recordsdata after Tata Motors lodged a criticism with state CID in Could this yr about Akash posing as the corporate’s MD. Tata Motors adopted up with one other criticism in September. Nevertheless, there was little motion on that until the disproportionate asset case of his father blew up final month.
“He could have been a mediocre engineering graduate. However the type of fraud he has perpetrated upon the youths is unbelievable. Whereas we now have seen individuals posing as IAS or IPS officers, that is the primary time we now have seen an engineering graduate posing as MD of a BSE-listed firm like Tata Motors. From our preliminary evaluation, we now have discovered that at the least 100 youths paid something between Rs 5 and 10 lakh for a job in Tata Motors. He’s nothing wanting Mr Natwarlal,” mentioned a senior CID officer who’s probing the case.
Officers mentioned with the assistance of Panigrahy in addition to his disgraced father, Akash Pathak began places of work of “Tata Motors” in Mumbai, Pune in addition to one from his father’s official quarters in Bhubaneswar. Aside from floating commercials on job portals for recruitment in Tata Motors passengers division, he performed interviews of candidates on-line. He even appointed a private assistant to assist him out in airline bookings and answering his mails. He had additionally employed bouncers from Mumbai.
David Peter, who labored as his private assistant from November 2019, revealed how an individual in Ganjam used to coordinate the recruitment until Pathak himself took interviews by means of Zoom app throughout the Covid pandemic.
“Earlier than the pandemic, he used to make an inventory of job aspirants and name them up for a gathering on the workplace. The candidates who have been chosen for the submit of administration trainees have been promised annual CTC of Rs 11 lakh whereas the graduate engineering trainees Rs 6 lakh. For a second I by no means doubted that he was not MD of Tata Motors as he used to fly to Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and keep within the swankiest inns of the nation,” Peter informed his CID throughout questioning.
Throughout the lockdown when common industrial flights weren’t allowed, Pathak alongside along with his father Abhay Pathak in addition to his potential father-in-law Panigrahy took 14 chartered flights to numerous cities within the nation. He additionally stayed in star inns at the least 15 instances this yr with room rents going past Rs 2.three lakh per day. Posing as Tata Motors MD, he even donated Rs 5 lakh to the Chief Minister’s reduction fund.
The Bhubaneswar police have lodged a case towards the Pathak father-son duo for not paying Rs 65 lakh to a city-based journey company that booked their chartered flights, 5 star inns and air tickets. The company had billed them Rs 2.78 crore, however has to this point been paid Rs 2.13 crore. When the company requested them for the remainder of the cash, they have been threatened.
Vigilance officers who investigated the disproportionate property of Abhay Pathak, mentioned round Rs 17 crore was transacted by means of his son’s account over the previous yr and at one occasion money of Rs 1 crore was deposited by means of ATM. Investigators who’re nonetheless tying up the unfastened ends of the case say that Panigrahy’s cash in addition to the senior Pathak’s cash was being deposited in Akash Pathak’s account.
Whereas his can of worms are spilling out, officers mentioned Pathak continues to be adamant over his declare being Tata Motors MD. “He’s nonetheless claiming that he’s Tata Motors MD and might show it. He was simply an engineering graduate who couldn’t have even managed to change into a senior engineer in Tata Motors in 2 years time. We could need to do his psycho-analysis,” mentioned an official.
The daddy and son duo who have been arrested on November 27, proceed to be in jail.