Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
CBI today arrested Bikash Swain, proprietor of Suryaprava, a leading Odia newspaper and co-founder of Artha Tatwa (AT) Group Ranjan Dash as well as founder member of Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Agency for their involvement in the multi-crore Odisha chit fund scam.
The CBI team also raided the office of the newspaper, Suryaprava, after arresting Swain.
The Central agency had detained Swain yesterday and had interrogated him for six long hours.The media house owner is said to have taken Rs 4 crore from the AT Group chief Pradip Sethy, CBI sources said.
The CBI team had detained Dash of the Badagada Brit Colony area of the city on August 19. Dash had left the AT group after working there for some months, said a senior CBI officer.
Dash left AT Group following a dispute with the CMD of the AT group Pradip Sethy, who is now in CBI custody, the officer said.
After quitting the AT Group, Dash launched Swastik India, another chit fund company.
The official also said Dash has been interrogated a number of times over his connections with the AT Group prior to his arrest today.
Dash, who allegedly has links with a senior BJD leader, had managed to open branches of the company at various places in the state and collect over Rs 100 crore from the people by luring them with the promise of attractive returns against their investment.
Meanwhile, the proprietor of another city-based newspaper, who was summoned to be present in person at the CBI office here for interrogation in connection with the multi-crore chit fund scam, was represented through his representatives citing health problems today, sources in the CBI said.
Sources also said a summons was also served on Ashirbad Behera, Secretary, Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) to be present in person at CBI office here. But he too failed to appear in its office today.
The Central investigating agency today recorded the statements of two builders, Sagar Ray and Binit Lalani, proprietors of Orison Properties, CBI sources said. The duo is said to have taken huge amounts of money from the AT group for their construction business, the sources added.