Odisha: Man arrested for marrying, duping 14 women
A man was arrested on Monday in Odisha's Bhubaneswar for allegedly marrying 14 women and fleeing with their money, said a senior police officer. The accused, identified as Bibhu Prakash Swain alias Ramesh Swain, would target women on matrimonial sites, said Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police Umashankar Dash. Swain married and defrauded 14 women, including a lawyer in the Delhi High Court, said Dash.
The 54-year-old accused has been deceiving women since 2002, said the police. In July 2021, a school teacher from Delhi filed a complaint against Swain after discovering his other marriages. He had married the teacher at an Arya Samaj temple in 2018. He was arrested from a rented accommodation in Bhubaneswar's Khandagiri region based on her complaint.
Swain's intention was to acquire money and properties, Dash said adding, "He would reach out to women from states like Punjab, Jharkhand, and Delhi through several matrimonial websites." He said Swain targeted women who needed emotional security as they married late or were divorced. "Most of the victims are highly educated and hold key posts in various government and private sector organizations," he said.
Now a father of five children, Swain had married his first wife in 1982, according to the police. He married for the second time in 2002. He was from Odisha's Kendarapada area, but he stayed in Assam for a while, said the police. After marrying each victim, he would take them to a different place in Bhubaneswar, they said.
In 2018, Swain married an Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) official in a gurdwara in Delhi and defrauded her of Rs. 10 lakh, according to a police officer. Swain then conned gurdwara officials of Rs. 11 lakh by posing as the director of the health and family welfare department and offering assistance in obtaining authorization to operate a hospital, the officer said.
The police said they recovered 11 ATM cards, four Aadhaar cards with different names, and a Bihar school certificate with a different name from Swain's home. He was booked under Sections 498(A) (husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 468 (forgery), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code.
During the probe, it was found that Swain was arrested in 2011 in Hyderabad by a special task force for allegedly defrauding numerous MBBS candidates to the tune of Rs. 2 crore. The accused duped several job applicants across the country by posing as the deputy director-general of central health education and training, according to the police.
"We are planning to conduct a detailed financial investigation in the fraud," said Dash. He stated that the police will request a longer remand of the accused for a thorough investigation. "We know that many of Swain's victims would not come forward to lodge a complaint due to loss of social prestige, but we urge all of them to speak up," said Dash.