Man arrested for duping investors of Rs 12 Cr on pretext of establishing grocery retail chain in Odisha

The company in which the accused was one of the directors has allegedly defrauded the investors of as many as 10 states in the country.

Bhubaneswar: Economic Offences Wing, Bhubaneswar, arrested a man arrested for defrauding Rs 12 crore in Odisha on the pretext of establishing a grocery retail chain under the banner of Armada Bazar Pvt Ltd.

The accused person has been identified as Pankaj Kumar Parida, a resident of Chandabaliapadia under Sahadevkhunta police limits in Balasore. He was residing at Aasta Castle Apartment at Lingipur in Dhauli on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The EOW arrested him yesterday under sections 406/420/467/468/471/120-B of IPC, r/w Sec.6 of OPID Act.

The arrested accused will be produced before the designated court under OPID Act, Cuttack today, the EOW informed.

The investigating agency had registered the case based on a written complaint by one Ruturaj Mohanty against directors of a company ‘Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd’ and its directors namely Parsuram Rajnetbhai Pal and arrested accused Pankaj Parida for cheating him to the tune of Rs 1.26 crore in the name of investment with the company for establishing/opening new grocery and daily utility item marts in different towns in Odisha and its warehousing projects for high returns.

During investigation, the EOW found that the directors and promoters of the company during the period from February 2022 to January 2023 allured people for investment in the firm for opening the grocery retain chain under the banner Armada Bazar Pvt Ltd with the promise to provide lucrative and hefty returns by 2% towards the investment and another 2% as interest on the invested amount.

This apart, the investor would get 3.5% of the net monthly billing of the mart which will be credited after two months of investment for next 38 consecutive months. The company was fraudulently executing the mart agreements with the investors, rent agreement with the mart owner and also the franchise agreement with new investors. The company is also having sister concerns like Armada Mart Pvt. Ltd., Armada Pay Pvt. Ltd., Armada Express Pvt. Ltd., Armada Hotel & Resort Pvt. Ltd. etc.

The company has floated five schemes namely Mini Mart, Super Mart, Hyper Mart, Mega Mart and Super Mega Mart, for the investment ranging from Rs.20 lakhs to Rs.5 crore. for the high returns i.e. 4% interest per month and 3% on the billing amount. Similarly, the company was also floating 03 schemes for the franchise of the marts at different places of Odisha like Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh, Bargarh, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Parlakhemundi, Jagannathprasad, Odagaon, Nabarangpur etc. covering eight districts and was receiving investment with the assurance to pay 8% interest per month. After collecting more than Rs.12 crore. from Odisha only, the company neither run the marts nor did it give the franchise nor did return the money to the investors, and cheated the investors of the amount, the EOW release stated.

The company has allegedly defrauded the investors of as many as 10 States like Jharkhand, Odisha, J & K, Gujrat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra etc. in the like manner.

The arrested accused Pankaj Parida, an M.B.A in marketing, was working as a Promoter and subsequently as a Director of the company and was responsible for the activities of the company in Odisha. He in conspiracy with the main Director Parshuram Rajnetbhai Pal was organizing public meetings, seminars, conference etc. in different places including the reputed hotels in Bhubaneswar to induce the general public to invest with the company and to arrange the new investors.

As found, the accused is instrumental for investment of Rs.12 Cr. only from Odisha. The nationwide figure is under collection. The accused was also in-charge of Jharkhand. He has issued money receipts to some of the investors on behalf of the company, and lakhs of money has also been transferred from the company account to his personal account. He has also signed the rent agreement for the mart as authorized person of the company.

During investigation, the EOW has also seized many incriminating materials like laptop, mobile phones, authorization letter and money receipts in this case.

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