CBI grills Astha Odisha chief at Jharapada jail

Bhubaneswar: As part of its investigation into the multi-crore chit fund scam in the state, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday is grilling Subhranshu Lenka, Odisha chief of Ponzi firm Astha International, who is presently lodged at Jharapada jail here.

According to sources, a three-member team of the probe agency is interrogating Lenka about the financial transactions of the company after being granted permission by a court to grill Lenka for two days.

On February 23, the CBI, which is investigating the multi-crore chit fund scam in the state, had questioned Chandrasekhar Lenka, brother of Subhransu Lenka, over the financial transactions of the Ponzi firm at its office here.

Chandrasekhar, who appeared before the investigating agency for the first time, was questioned about whether he had done any fiscal transactions with his brother Subhransu, who was arrested by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch on June 8, 2013 on the charge of embezzling about Rs 100 crore from investors in the state.

Astha International had opened two offices in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur in 2010 and duped investors of more than Rs 100 crores promising them to give high returns under various schemes. The Ponzi firm had spread its operations to West Bengal apart from running real estate schemes in Odisha.