Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 16:
25 teams of the CBI are raiding about 50 locations in Odisha in connection with the chit fund operations of the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group.
The CBI raided three flats in Bishnupriya Apartments in IRC Village area of Nayapalli.
Sources said three former directors of AT Group Jaiprakash, Jyotiprakash and Ramakant Dhir, who were earlier staying in two flats in Bishnupriya Apartments on rent had later purchased these. Their family members are presently residing in these apartments.
The CBI raided these flats apart from the one in which Prasanna Sethy, brother of Pradip Sethy is residing.
Moreover, the CBI has raided the ancestral house of Pradip Sethy in Brahmapur where his father Ramachandra Sethy is presently staying.
The central agency has also raided the residence of Sambit Khuntia at the Housing Board Colony in Khurda. Khuntia was a director with the AT Group and he has been taken into custody by the CBI, reports said. A certain location in Puri is also being raided, reports added.
Multiple teams of the Central agency began raids early today at around 5am at multiple locations including Bhubaneswar, Baleswar and Brahmapur. The sleuths searched the houses and offices of the directors of the AT Group and their relatives in these places, the sources added.
The CBI raid was continuing at the house of Prasanna Sethy at Bishnupriya Apartments in Nayapalli by the time of filing of this report.
Prasanna Sethy, is the brother of Pradip Sethy, the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of AT Group.
Pradip Sethy and four of the directors of the AT Group are presently lodged in jail.
The AT Group is said to have collected several crores of rupees from lakhs of investors in Odisha. The company is said to be one of the biggest players in Odisha in the chit fund scam.
The Commissionerate Police had seized properties worth several crores belonging to the company in three phases.
The first list submitted by the Commissionerate Police on January 28 this year contained a list of properties worth Rs 150 crore and the second list of May 9 had given details of properties worth Rs 200 crore while the third list submitted on June 7 was worth Rs 50 crore. Together the total value of properties sought to be confiscated is estimated at Rs 400 crore.
During his interrogation, the AT Group CMD Pradip Sethy had claimed that several political leaders, bureaucrats and journalists had taken money from his company.
The sources in the CBI said their probe will be focusing its investigations on the money trail as well as the company’s links with politicians, journalists and bureaucrats.