Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 5:

Two days after his arrest from Kolkata, the Managing Director of Odisha-based Ponzi firm Green Ray International Ltd (GRIL) – Mir Shahiruddin – today claimed that he was unaware of the developments leading to closure of the company.

“I had gone to Nigeria in 2013. While I was away, the Company was closed down which I wasn’t aware of. Besides, I had no knowledge of the lookout circular issued against me,” Mir Shahiruddin told reporters while being taken to Capital Hospital for health check-up.

According to reports, Shahiruddin had floated a mining firm Green Ray Nigeria Company in 2013 and acquired an iron ore mine on lease in the foreign country. He was hiding at Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, with family.

His luck went bust after he was arrested in Kolkata from Rajarhat area on Friday. He had entered India on a Bangladeshi passport by impersonating him as Ahmed Hussain. Shahiruddin, a native of Sasanbad village under Jaleswar police limits in Balasore district, had returned from Nigeria a few days ago.

Reports said that Shahiruddin was arrested by State Security Service (SSS), the intelligence agency of Nigeria, on July 15, 2015 on the grounds of suspected money laundering. However, he managed to obtain bail.

Earlier in the day, the CBI brought Mir Shahiruddin on a transit remand here this morning. After arriving here, he was taken to Capital Hospital for health check-up.

Sources said that he would be produced before a designated court here where the Central investigating agency would seek remand of the top executive of the dubious firm.

Notably, earlier on October 2014, Chhattisgarh police had arrested Ayub Shah from Ajmer in Rajasthan while he was on his way to Kolkata. He was trying to flee to Nigeria via Bangladesh. Ayub is one of the directors of the firm. The other two directors are Mir Tahiruddin and Khalik Saha.

Notably, at least 13 cases were registered against the managing director and directors of GRIL in different police stations in Odisha for allegedly duping depositors of crores of rupees and five cases registered in Chhattisgarh.

The state Crime Branch, which was earlier probing into the case, had confiscated 20.68 acres of land belonging to the company besides freezing cash deposits of Rs 57 lakh in 46 accounts. Around 246 grams of gold and 9.5 kg silver were also seized.

GRIL had also swindled over Rs 500 crore from around 1.5 lakh customers in Odisha. Besides, the company had collected over Rs 200 crore from the people in Chhattisgarh.

It may be mentioned that the trio had started their operations in Odisha in 2004 but the state government sealed their offices in 2013 following which it defaulted on payments to its investors. When people gheraoed the offices for liquidation of their deposits, they directors went into hiding.

Worth mentioning, SEBI, in February 2014, had barred GRIL from collecting any money from investor, launch or carry out any scheme which has been identified as a collective investment scheme. Besides, it had directed to wind up the existing collective investment schemes and refund the money collected from the investors by the company.