The Commissionerate police have arrested a person for allegedly duping two tribal vendors of over Rs 1 lakh during the recent Adivasi Mela-2020 in the city in the guise of an official of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA).
The accused Lakshman Panda, a resident of Dharakote in Ganjam district, was working as a security guard and staying in Old Town here.
The two cheated tribal vendors of Koraput district, Shashi Paligudia and Damei Nayak, were allotted a stall at the tribal fair. Panda, identifying himself as an ITDA officer, asked them to pay him all their earnings to win a Rs 1-crore prize for best forest products exhibited in the week-long fair.
The innocent tribals without consulting anyone paid Rs 1.40 lakh to the fake official. And the accused also managed to take away their mobile phones.
Later, the vendors realised that they had been duped when they informed the matter to the members managing the fair. Following a complaint at the Capital police station, a case was registered and a probe was initiated.
Police managed to ascertain the whereabouts of the accused by tracking the stolen mobile phones of the victims. Capital police station IIC Arun Khilar apprehended Panda from the Baramunda Bus-Stand on Wednesday.
The police seized Rs 1.20 lakh and the two mobile phones from Panda’s possession. During interrogation, he said he had spent Rs 20,000 from the amount he had looted.