Reported by Santosh Jagdev
(With inputs from IANS)
Bhubaneswar, Aug 6:
As part of its ongoing crackdown on chit fund firms in Odisha, CBI officials today conducted raids at various premises of Rely Foundation and its promoters.
The CBI Wednesday conducted raids at three locations in Odisha in connection with West Bengal’s Rs.10,000-crore Saradha chit fund scam, officials said in New Delhi.
“We conducted raids at offices and residents of employees of Rely Foundation and recovered some important documents,” a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official told IANS.
CBI sleuths raided the parental houses of company director Rabi Narayan Satpathy of Kakatpur in Puri district and Raj Kishore Nayak of Jagatsinghpur. Besides, the sleuths searched the houses of other officials of the company including area manager Manoj Padhi at Balugaon in Khurda district, sources said.
The probing agency also raided various branches of the company located at Bhubaneswar, Puri, Khordha, Banapur, Kakatpur and Jagatsinghpur, sources said.
The company had allegedly duped several gullible investors of crores of rupees through fixed deposits (FDs), recurring deposits (RDs), loans and other products under different schemes launched by it, sources added.
Sources stated that the CBI teams found several incriminating documents from the offices and houses of the directors of the company during the sudden raids.
Notably, investors of Satyabadi area had lodged a complaint with the local police against the chit-fund firm on January 13 this year. In the complaint, the investors alleged that the firm had duped them of Rs 16 lakh.
The agency has till now registered 48 cases, including four in West Bengal and 44 in Odisha, in the alleged chit fund scam on the directions of the Supreme Court.
IANS adds :
At least 44 companies were mentioned in the May 9 apex court order on a civil writ petition filed in 2013. Trinamool Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh is one of the accused.
CBI sources said role of regulatory bodies like the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the corporate affairs ministry will be examined according to the orders of the Supreme Court which had directed the CBI to probe the case.
The agency has registered cases for alleged criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy among others.
In 47 first information reports registered in Odisha, the CBI accused Pradeep Sethi, managing director of the Arthsatwa group, and Prashant Das of the Sea Shore group besides officials of Rose Valley Microfinance, Saradha group and Astha International among others, the sources said.
“In Odisha, the CBI has registered 43 cases against 43 companies and the then managing directors, then directors and others on allegations of cheating, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy. Scrutiny of more documents is being carried out for future course of action,” the CBI official said.
The Supreme Court had handed over the Saradha chit fund scam case to the CBI in May and asked state governments to provide all logistical help to the agency.
The CBI formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Joint Director Rajeev Singh to also probe the role of the SEBI and the RBI.
“Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like the SEBI, registrar of companies and officials of the RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered,” an apex court bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur had said in its order.
CBI Special Director Anil Kumar Sinha has been asked to monitor the progress in the probe and exercise administrative control under the overall supervision of the CBI director.