54-yr-old marries, dupes 14 women; arrested
A 54-year-old man was arrested in Bhubaneswar on Monday for allegedly cheating 14 women by marrying them and decamping with their money, a senior police officer said.
Posing as a doctor or a a high-ranking government official, the accused,Bibhu Prakash Swain alias Ramesh Swain, would target women on matrimonial websites, marry them and then flee with their money, Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police, Dr Umashankar Dash, said.
Dash said till the time of arrest, Swain married and defrauded 14 women, including a a high-ranking officer in the Indo Tibetan Border Police and a lawyer in Delhi High Court.
“His only intention was to get money and acquire properties of the women after marrying them. He would reach out to women from states like Punjab, Jharkhand and Delhi through several matrimonial websites. The women he targeted, wanted emotional security as they either married late or were divorced and Swain took full advantage. Most of the victims are highly educated and hold key posts in various government and private sector organisations,” said Dash.
According to police, Swain has been conning women since 2002.
A complaint had been filed against Swain by a school teacher from Delhi in July 2021 after she found out about his other marriages. He had married the teacher at an Arya Samaj temple in 2018.
On the basis of the complaint, police arrested Swain from a rented house in Khandagiri area of Bhubaneswar and booked him under Sections 498 (A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code.
During a search of his house, police said they recovered 11 ATM cards, 4 Aadhaar cards bearing different names and a Bihar school certificate with a different name.
Police said Swain, now a father of five, married his first wife in 1982. He married a second time in 2002.
Though he hailed from Kendarapada district of the state, he stayed in Assam for some time, they said, adding that he used to take each victim to a different location in Bhubaneswar after marrying them.
In 2018, he married a woman official of ITBP in a gurdwara in Delhi and then cheated her of ₹10 lakh, said a police officer. Then, identifying himself as the director of the health and family welfare department, Swain duped ₹11 lakh from gurdwara officials promising help to secure permission for running a hospital, the officer said.
During the investigation, it also came to light that Swain was arrested in 2011 by a special task force in Hyderabad for allegedly duping several MBBS aspirants to the tune of ₹2 crore. Posing as deputy director general of central health education and training, Swain had duped several job aspirants in different parts of the country, police said. Significantly, Swain had also cheated the owner of a nursing home in Hyderabad on the pretext of arranging a medical seat to his son, police said.
“We are planning to conduct a detailed financial investigation in the fraud. We will seek longer remand of the accused for a detailed probe. We know that many of Swain’s victims would not come forward to lodge a complaint due to loss of social prestige, but we urge all of them to speak up,” Dash said.