Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 14:
The CBI today simultaneously raided 28 locations in the country ,including in Odisha, West Bengal and New Delhi in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, sources said.
The raids were continuing till last reports came in.
In view of the confidential nature of the operations, the CBI has made no official announcement on the raids.
However, a senior official of the CBI on conditions of anonymity revealed that apart from raids in different locations in New Delhi and West Bengal, the Central agency was also conducting raids in Odisha’s Puri and Baleswar districts.
The Saradha Group, which had its chit fund operations spread over West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Tripura, had collected large amounts from depositors in Odisha’s Baleswar and Puri districts.
The company had also purchased a large priece of land in the Baleswar district.
The company’s chief Sudipta Sen, who is now in jail, had been brought to Odisha recently by the Enforcement Directorate for interrogation in the mega scam amounting to reportedly more than Rs 10, 000 crore.
During its investigations into the company’s chit fund operations, the CBI had found the involvement and links of several politicians including a Trinamool Congress MP with the company.
Sources said the central agency is probing into possible involvement of Odisha politicians in the company’s operations.
The CBI’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) is entrusted with the task of probing into alleged links of politicians in the fraud and the money trail.
The SIT head Rajiv Singh, during his recent visit to Odisha, has reportedly asked the CBI team to gather evidence on the involvement of top Odisha politicians in the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam.
The Saradha chief Sudipta Sen is said to have revealed during his interrogations in the jail a lot of information about the involvement of several politicians in the spread of his business. However, he reportedly claimed he had destroyed all the documentary evidence in this regard.
IANS adds from New Delhi:
“In the multi-crore-rupee chit fund scam, searches are on at 28 locations in Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and Odisha, including at the residence of former Congress minister Matang Singh, among others,” an official said.
The official added that a search was conducted at Saradha group chief managing director Sudipto Sen’s residence as well.
The agency has till now registered 48 cases, including four in West Bengal and 44 in Odisha, in the alleged chit fund scam on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had handed over the Saradha chit fund scam case to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) in May 2014 and asked the state governments to provide all logistical help to the agency.