Pradeep Pattanayak

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Bhubaneswar on Wednesday arrested the promoter/director of a company named M/s Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd. for duping investors from Odisha of more than Rs 12 crore on the pretext of opening mega marts with high returns in different cities. 

The accused, Pankaj Kumar Parida, an MBA in marketing and a permanent resident of Chandabalipadia under Sahadevkhunta Police limits in Balasore, was arrested from an apartment ( Aasta Castle Apartment) at Lingipur under Dhauli police limits. 

The accused will be produced before the designated court under the OPID Act, Cuttack on November 2. 

According to the press release issued by the EOW, the case was registered on the basis of the written allegation by one of the victims Ruturaj Mohanty. He had alleged that the company M/s Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd. and its directors namely Parsuram Rajnetbhai Pal and the arrested accused Parida cheated him and his relatives to the tune of Rs.1.26 Cr. in the name of investment in the company for establishing/opening new grocery and daily utility item marts in different cities of Odisha, and also its warehousing projects for high returns.

During the investigation, it was found that the directors and promoters of M/s Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd. induced the general public to invest in the company for opening grocery and daily utility item marts on the false promise of providing lucrative and hefty returns. 

The company was fraudulently executing the mart agreements with the investors, rent agreements with the mart owner, and franchise agreements with new investors. The company also has sister concerns like Armada Mart Pvt. Ltd., Armada Pay Pvt. Ltd., Armada Express Pvt. Ltd., Armada Hotel & Resort Pvt. Ltd. etc. 

The company floated five schemes namely Mini Mart, Super Mart, Hyper Mart, Mega Mart and Super Mega Mart, for investments ranging from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 5 crore for high returns i.e. 4% interest per month and 3% on the billing amount. 

Similarly, the company also floated three 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.12Cr. from Odisha only, the company neither ran the marts nor gave the franchise nor even returned the money to the investors. Besides, the company has also defrauded investors in as many as ten states including Jharkhand, Odisha, J & K, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, etc..