Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 4:
After nearly a month of raids on offices and residences of directors of Artha Tatwa (AT) group of companies in Odisha by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), all eyes are now on the Seashore Group of companies which has allegedly duped a large number of depositors through its plethora of investment schemes.
The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the State Crime Branch, which was assigned with investigation into the embezzlement of investors’ money by companies dealing with money circulation schemes, today handed over all the files and documents it had seized from the Seashore Group, to CBI officials at its office here for further investigation.
The company had reportedly duped over 1.5 lakh investors of Rs 1500 crore offering investors 24 per cent interest per annum.
The EOW has reportedly submitted listed documents, which include equipment and immovable properties of Seashore Group and its nine allied companies, two farm houses, eight apartments, 205 acres of land in 17 locations, 1.385 kg of gold bars, two quintals of silver coins, four costly cars and more than Rs. 2 crore of cash deposits in 275 bank accounts.
On June 20 last year, the crime branch had nabbed Seashore Group’s Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Prasant Kumar Dash, who is accused of embezzling nearly Rs 450 crore public deposits through money circulation business, from Mumbai.
Many influential persons who were said to have been involved with Seashore or had taken money and gifts from company officials would come under CBI net in the coming days, sources in the investigating agency said.
Around 39 cases have been registered against Seashore group of companies at different police stations in the state in connection with chit fund scam.
Meanwhile, after taking AT Group chief Pradip Sethy on a fresh three-day remand for further interrogation, the CBI today interrogated a proprietor of a city-based newspaper for six long hours. The proprietor is said to have taken Rs 4 crore from the Sethy, CBI sources said.
From a list of 76 agents employed in the AT group of companies, the CBI today interrogated around 18 to ascertain the trail of the nearly Rs 200 crore which they had transacted with the company earlier, added CBI sources.