Odisha ponzi scam: CBI gets vital clues on AT Group beneficiaries

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 2:

The CBI on Monday managed to get vital information on the involvement of top political leaders, journalists, businessmen and builders in the AT Group chit fund fraud case, reliable sources said.

The sources said,  the accountant of AT Group Srikrushna Padhi has said  a very large part of  the deposits made by the investors was earmarked for commissions to agents, costly gift items and bribes.
Artha Tatwa
A lion’s share of the deposits was shared by the company agents while huge amounts were paid to top political leaders, officers, businessmen and journalists who had provided support and protection to the company,  Padhi is believed to have told the CBI team.

He also reportedly informed the interrogators some builders had taken crores of rupees from the AT Group to buy lands for the construction of apartments. But as these builders failed to deliver either the land or flats to the company within a specified time frame, the company faced the ire of the depositors.

Padhi also said that abouta large percentage of the deposits had gone to the agents as commission and costly presents as a result of which the financial status of the company became precarious, within two years,  in 2012.

He accused some senior members and marketing officials of the company of being responsible for the bankruptcy of the company.

On the basis of the interrogation of Padhi, CBI has planned to arrest 10 persons whose houses would be raided very soon, reliable sources said.

The 10-member list prepared by the central intelligence agency includes a well-known builder and a mines owner. Apart from this, the CBI has also targeted the son of a former minister and a ruling BJD MLA.

After the arrest of these three persons, CBI would take similar action against the other persons in the list, the sources added.

Earlier in the day, the CBI called four persons including a builder, a land owner, marketing head of AT Group and a senior member of the company to its office where the officials verified the documents of the builder and the land owner.

During the verification, the CBI officials asked the builder and the land owner not to leave the capital city without their permission.

The CBI officials also interrogated the senior AT Group marketing head and a senior member of the company.

Besides, the officials have been interrogating some other builders in the city at regular intervals, the sources added.

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