Astha chit-fund scam: CBI files prelim charge sheet

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday submitted a preliminary charge sheet in the Special CJM court against Astha International accusing the chit fund company of financial fraud worth more than Rs 66 crore.

In the 80-page charge sheet, the CBI has named Subhransu Lenka, Santosh Kisan Sapkale and CS Chauhan and two companies. Lenka and two others are at present lodged at the Jharpada jail here.

The charge sheet was submitted by the central investigating agency along with 142 documents after examining 80 witnesses.

The CBI has also mentioned in the charge sheet the investigation into the chit-fund scam is going on.

Notably, the CBI had recently searched more than 12 Astha premises and seized some incriminating documents. The investigating agency had also sought permission from the Finance department to attach properties of the chit-fund company.

Astha International was duping investors on the pretext of offering higher returns on their deposits. Most of Astha investors were from Berhampur, Bhubaneswar and Balasore.

Before the CBI took over the investigation, the Crime Branch of Odisha Police had arrested Subhransu Lenka in June 2013 for fraud to the tune of over Rs 900 crore.