Chit fund scam: 3 held for duping investors in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch has arrested as many as three persons for allegedly duping investors of crores of rupees on the pretext of providing them hefty returns over investment in a firm.

The accused have been identified as Sarat Kumar Parida of Brahmeswarpatna, Debabrata Harichandan of Chandrasekharpur and Chandan Kumar Mahalik of Jagannath Vihar, Bhubaneswar. They have been apprehended under sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the IPC; sections 4, 5 & 6 of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978; and section 6 of the OPID Act, 2011.

The agency had conducted a probe over allegation of involvement of the trio in illegal money circulation schemes in the guise of Direct Selling/Multi Level Marketing. During investigation, it was revealed that the three entered into a criminal conspiracy with Directors of QNet Limited through its Indian franchise Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Private Limited.

They induced gullible investors to invest in the company with a promise of high returns to the tune of Rs 50 crore on an investment of Rs 5 lakh within a span of only five years.

After the offence came to fore, EOW officials conducted searches at the houses of the accused, during which many incriminating documents such as brochures, money receipts, mobile phones, laptops and list of investors were seized.

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