Bhubaneswar: Odisha Special Task Force (STF) apprehended Laxman Madhi, the son of Erma Madhi from Ambaguda in Malkanagiri district. This arrest is related to a case involving thuggery, cheating, and impersonation. Prior to this, the STF had already captured the key figures behind this criminal gang, namely Kanhu Charan Pradhan and Kishore Mishra.
Laxman Madhi was closely associated with the gang’s mastermind, Kanhu Charan Pradhan. Notably, substantial transactions exceeding Rs 60 lakh were traced in Laxman Madhi’s bank account, and he had frequent communication with Pradhan.
This arrest is linked to STF case No. 15/2023, initially registered at Koraput Town police station under Sections 419/420/465/468/470/471/34 IPC. Later, the STF took over the investigation. Kanhu Charan Pradhan has a history of involvement in six similar criminal cases, with the seizure of expensive mobile phones, forged government notifications/orders, and other incriminating documents from his possession.
The modus operandi of this group involved deceiving and extorting individuals by posing as RTI activists. They also claimed to have influential connections with senior officers, promising to obtain crusher licenses, liquor licenses, and facilitate transfers/postings. Their criminal activities spanned various locations in Odisha.
Furthermore, the group was found to utilize mule bank accounts, including those belonging to deceased individuals, to trick people. They stored contacts under the names of senior officers to further their schemes. The ongoing investigation has revealed transactions exceeding Rs 40 crore in the accounts of Kanhu Pradhan and his associates.