Extortion case: Film producer, 'associate' of prime accused quizzed by ED in Odisha

NewsDrum Desk
23 Nov 2022

Bhubaneswar, Nov 23 (PTI) Officials of the Enforcement Directorate, probing an extortion case in Odisha, on Wednesday quizzed film producer Akshay Parija for the second consecutive day, and another accused Shradhanjali Behera, sources in the agency said.

Behera, an alleged associate of prime accused in the case, Archana Nag, had entered the ED office in Nayapalli here as early as 8 am, even though she was summoned by the agency at 10 am, they said.

Parija, who was questioned for three hours on Monday, claimed he was being wrongfully targeted by media before setting foot in the central agency’s office here.

"I am a victim. I found some news channels indulging in irresponsible reporting. Please consider me as your brother, uncle while reporting. I will speak to the media after coming out of the ED office." His advocate Akash Bhuyan said that his client might file case against some media houses.

The ED sources said the two were interrogated separately at first and then together.

The central agency is looking into a money laundering aspect of the case involving Archana Nag, a 26-year-old woman arrested on charges of blackmailing rich and influential people by threatening to make public photos and videos of their intimate moments.

Her husband Jagabandhu Chand has also been nabbed.

Businessman Amiyakant Das, who had allegedly given Rs 10 lakh to Nag, was interrogated by ED officials for around eight hours on Tuesday.

Das, after interrogation, had told reporters that he had given Rs 7 lakh to Nag for treatment of her husband.

The film producer had in October filed a complaint at Nayapally Police Station, alleging that Nag and her associate Shradhanaji had demanded Rs 3 crore and also threatened to kill him.

Shradhanjali, too, had filed a case against Nag at Khandagiri Police Station, claiming that she was being forced to undertake illegal activities.

Last week, the ED seized a sports utility vehicle (SUV) belonging to Nag.

The vehicle, valued around Rs 40 lakh, was found abandoned without a number plate, the probe agency said in a statement.

Nag has been accused of amassing over Rs 30 crore along with her husband between 2018 and 2022 by blackmailing and threatening politicians and other influential people.

The ED had earlier said that it seized "incriminating" documents, digital evidence and mobile phones after undertaking searches on premises linked to Nag. PTI AAM RMS RMS

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