Astha Group’s Odisha head sent to 2-day remand

Bhubaneswar: The Crime Branch (CB) of Odisha police on Monday has taken Subhranshu Lenka, the state chief of Surat -based money circulation farm Astha International Ltd, on a two-day remand for further interrogation.
 
The SDJM court here granted the CB's appeal for remand of Lenka who was arrested on Saturday on charges of duping investors to the tune of about Rs 500 crore. The enforcement agency has also registered a case against Astha's six directors and other senior officials.
 
Notably, a case against was lodged in Odisha against Astha International Ltd and Astha Goat Farming Ltd under Sections 420/406/467/468/471, 120 (b) and 34 of Indian Penal Code. Charges under Sections 4/5/6 of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act have also been pressed.
 
Sources said the CB is planning to send a special team to Gujarat for further probe.
 
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Crime Branch, who has already sealed the main office building of Surat-based Astha International and registered cases against its 16 directors, is planning to send its officials to Odisha to interrogate arrested Lenka.
 
Investigations by probe agency officials reveal in Odisha, Astha International offered schemes with interest rates as high as 20 per cent. In some cases, even 25 per cent rate was too promised to investors.
 
Crime Branch DIG Rajesh Kumar had said most of the investors of Astha were from Berhampur, Bhubaneswar and Balasore.