Odisha set to attach assets of tainted NBFCs

Bhubaneswar: Less than a week after facilitating the State government the property documents of chit fund scam tainted Seashore group for liquidation, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police has started the process to attach properties of other such companies who have allegedly duped thousands of gullible investors across the state.
 
“We are in the process of vetting the property documents of all tainted non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) including Artha Tatwa (AT) Group against whom cases have been registered. Once completed, we’ll propose the government for their asset confiscation,” police commissioner Rajendra Prasad Sharma told OTV.
 
“Besides AT Group’s 13 vehicles, we have also seized the company’s lands in Balasore, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Berhampur. As per market value, assets of the company will be over Rs 200 crore,” added Sharma.     
 
If EOW sources are to be believed, among the vehicles owned by the group’s chief managing director (CMD) Pradip Sethi, the most expensive one was an imported Jaguar, valued at Rs 1.33 crore. The high-end vehicle was purchased in December last year, sources said.
 
There are 11 criminal cases against Sethi in different police stations including three in Bhubaneswar. Cases have also been registered against him in Balasore, Kandhamal, Ganjam, Khurda, Mayurbhanj and some other districts, added sources.
 
Though preliminary investigation by police showed that the group has allegedly duped investors to the tune of Rs 130 crore, financial analysts however put a much higher figure.
 
Meanwhile, after enacting the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishment) Act, the Odisha government to expedite the asset attachment process, has declared four additional district judges of Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur and Berhampur as designated courts.
 
The additional district magistrates (ADMs) of these four districts have also been declared as the competent authorities empowered to take steps for attachment of properties.
 
The Act contains extensive safeguards for protecting the small investors from the malpractices of fraudulent financial entities. Also, it has various provisions to take stringent action against the offenders.