An official said that anti-corruption vigil investigators seized 1,440 grams of gold and a designer necklace worth Rs 24.25 from the home of Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Banigrahi.

In a statement after 23 hours of searching in Banegrahi, his relatives and associates said: During the searches… 1,440 grams of gold and a brand-designed necklace valued at Rs 24.25 were found at the home of Dr. Pradeep Kumar Banegrahi and seized. . “

Read also | Odisha Vigilance conducts raids at 15 sites associated with MLA Pradeep Panigrahi in case of DA

Steps are being taken to enlist them, the statement said, adding that measures are also being taken to freeze the bank accounts of Panigrahi and his family members.

The vigilance committee said, “Documents found during the searches will be examined by Vigilance Financial Wing officers, professional accountants and banking advisors. Cyber โ€‹โ€‹Cell of Vigilance will examine all electronic evidence/documents found during the searches.”

The official said that the interrogation of witnesses, suspects and accused will be done in due course, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Earlier, a case against Panigrahy was registered on October 4 following a directive from Lokayukta. The searches were conducted at 15 places in Bhubaneswar and Ganjam districts on Sunday. Documents related to the purchase of land, jewellery, bank account books, credit/debit cards, laptops, cell phones and other things were confiscated during the raid by the SP of Vigilance Cell, two additional service providers and 17 DSPs, the official said.

Prior to the concurrent search, the Vigilance Directorate conducted a confidential check of the Gopalpur MLA property last year on the allegation of illegal asset accumulation and filed a complaint against it with Lokayukta on December 9, 2020. The vigil ward was directed to launch an investigation into the matter. The investigation revealed that Banegrahi had made huge illegal gains as a government employee between May 24, 2009 and November 30, 2020, and submitted an investigation report to Lokayukta on May 28 this year, they said.

The statement from Vigil said that after examining the report, Lokayukta indicated that there was a prima facie case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and authorized the Vigil to conduct searches under the Odisha Lokayukta Act as part of its investigation. Vigilance wing Banegrahi, who was once a close aide to Prime Minister Navin Patnaik, has been arrested in a case of deceiving people with false promises of jobs.

The 56-year-old lawmaker was in prison for seven months and was released on bail in June this year. Banegrahi was expelled from the ruling BJD party on charges of “anti-people” activities in November last year.

The GLA rejected all allegations of fraud in job seekers and alleged that his relatives and supporters were harassed by the police after he was expelled from the party.

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