CBI raids Mahima Mishra, one of Odisha’s wealthiest, in bribery case
CBI officials have been carrying out searches at the residence and offices of Mahima Mishra of Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL), which describes itself as one of the largest corporate houses along the east coast
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday raided the residence and office of Odisha’s leading businessman Mahima Mishra in connection with a ₹25 lakh bribe allegedly paid by a contractor to a senior official of Paradip Port Authority, people aware of the matter said.
A CBI team from Delhi carried out searches at the Paradip and Cuttack offices of Mishra’s Odisha Stevedores Limited. CBI also interrogated Saroj Das, the chief mechanical engineer of Paradip Port Authority and contractor Sumant Rout.
A person familiar with the matter said Saroj Das faces accusations of taking a bribe from the contractor and Thursday’s raids were to follow up on some leads that emerged during the initial probe.
To be sure, the details of the alleged bribery and how it links to Mahima Mishra, also known as Mahimananda Mishra and counted among Odisha’s wealthiest, are sketchy for now.
But this is not the first time that Mahima Mishra, who made his fortunes by providing labour for loading and unloading cargo – or stevedoring – at one of the busiest ports on the eastern coast, has found himself in an unseemly controversy.
Mishra, who is counted among the richest persons in Odisha, was arrested in November 2016 for conspiring to murder the executive of a Hyderbad-based logistic company. Mahendra Swain, executive of Seaways Shipping and Logistics Limited was shot dead by hired killers on the morning of October 26, while he was on his way to his office in Paradip.
He was granted bail by the Orissa high court in May 2017 but the Supreme Court in September 2018 set aside the high court order, noting that Mishra was an influential person in terms of both money and muscle power, and ordered that he should be taken into custody. Mishra was eventually granted bail in the case by the high court in November 2019.