Mumbai: The CBI on Wednesday arrested Mahesh Kishan Motewar, chairman and managing director of Pune-based Samruddh Jeevan Foods India Ltd., from Odisha capital Bhubaneshwar in connection with a probe into the Rs.1,500 crore ponzi scam, an official said here.

He has been booked on cheating, criminal conspiracy and other charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Scheme Banning Act, 1978.

Motewar was produced before a Central Bureau of Investigation court and sent to the agency's custody for five days.

According to CBI, the Samruddh group has 17 associate companies, including a TV channel and one multi-state cooperative society headquartered in Pune, and were illegally collecting money from the small investors.

Motewar allegedly collected over Rs.1,500 crore from middle-class people from Maharashtra and other neighbouring states, luring them with higher interest rates.

In December 2015, following complaints from various quarters, the CBI had searched 58 locations, including 45 in Maharashtra and residences of the CMD and directors.

Overall, the scam allegedly runs into over Rs.80,000 crore collected from more than six crore investors all over India promising them higher returns.

Motewar was earlier arrested by Maharashtra Police in connection with the same scam and the SEBI had barred the group from raising money from investors.