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Odisha chit fund scam: ED raids chartered accountant’s firm over Seashore Group’s operations

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 7:

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today raided the premises of Anil & Mihir Associates, a chartered accountant’s firm at Cuttack Road here in connection with its investigations pertaining to the operations of the Seashore Group of Companies, a major player in the mega chit fund scam in Odisha.

Raid by the ED was continuing at the time of filing of this report.

seashoregroupThe ED’s Deputy Director Ashok Goutam had arrived here yesterday in connection with the ED’s ongoing investigations of the Seashore Group.

It may be recalled here that the ED was allowed by the Khordha district and sessions court on October 28 to take Prashant Dash, CMD of the Seashore Group, on a 14-day remand for interrogation to trace the money trail. Dash’s ED remand ends on November 10 and he will be produced before the assigned court on that day.

On September 19, the ED had requested the court to allow it to take Dash on remand. In its order, the court had asked Jeypore jail authorities to produce Dash before it.

On October 24, the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court Jeypore had allowed Dash to be produced before Khordha district and sessions court on October 28.

It may be noted that while 6.5 lakh people were duped of Rs 4,375 crore between January 2012 and June 2013 by several chit fund companies, the Seashore Group alone is accused of swindling over Rs 700 crore from the deposits collected from thousands of people across the state.

Established in 2005-06, the Seashore conglomerate forayed into a host of fields including money circulation, real estate, media and gold trading.

The firm executed several projects in partnership with the state government, fuelling allegations of possible patronage given to the firm by some ruling party politicians.

Dash was arrested from Mumbai on June 19, 2013 and has been implicated in 37 cheating cases in various police stations across the state for duping thousands of investors of hundreds of crores by promising hefty returns.