Home ODISHA LATEST Odisha chit fund scam: Media owner, ponzi firm head arrested

Odisha chit fund scam: Media owner, ponzi firm head arrested


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.


  1. The truth is that there was never any dispute between Pradip Sethy and Ranjan Dash. A former minister directed Pradip Sethy to form another Chit Fund company (Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Agency) so that the former minister’s black money could be invested separately; he did not want to take any risk by investing his black money in the same company where other politicians and bureaucrats had invested. Hence Ranjan Dash became the director of Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Agency and Jagabandhu Panda (nephew of a middle-level official of the Odisha Crime Branch) became his associate in the new company.

    CBI can easily lay its hands on many politicians and bureaucrats through Ranjan Dash.

    CBI should investigate how Bikash Swain became the proprietor of a leading Odia newspaper. Allegedly, the black money of a retired bureaucrat has been invested in this newspaper and Bikash Swain is not its real owner.

    Swain has told the CBI that he had taken a loan of Rs 4 crore from Pradip Sethy but my information is he had taken more than Rupees Eight Crores Fifty Lakhs and paid back only Rs 1 crore to Sethy ( as per the list which I had got from an AT group employee and submitted the same to the CBI 28 days ago).

    Veenit Kumar Lalani, Sagar Kumar Roy and Rahul Kanwal should also be arrested by CBI.
    It is not yet understood why they are roaming free?


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