Chit fund scam: CB arrests Vista CMD

Bhubaneswar: A month after leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra indicated about the involvement of two ruling party leaders in the ponzi scam, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch today arrested the chief managing director (CMD) of a chit fund company called Vista for duping gullible investors.

“We have arrested Dev Kumar Panda, CMD of Vista Management Services Ltd. from the railway station here. He was scheduled to catch a train to Vishakhapatnam and had booked air ticket to Singapore. We have seized his passport, visa, air ticket, and some American and Singapore currencies,” Rajendra Patnaik, SP, EOW told media persons.

The official stated Panda had duped thousands of investors, mostly in western Odisha by luring them with higher interest rates.

“From preliminary investigations it has come to our notice the collection amount through Vista would be more than Rs 50 crore. He had opened offices in Kalahandi, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh and Ganjam,” Patnaik stated adding a case has already been filed against him in the EOW and investigation is on.

On April 11, addressing a press meet Mishra apparently took a dig at Rajya Sabha MP A U Singhdeo and housing and urban development minister Puspendra Singh Deo.

“A BJD leader from Kalahandi is a minister in chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet while the one from Balangir is currently an MP. Both are involved in the ponzi scam. The firm continues to dupe credulous depositors,” Mishra had said.

He too showed some photographs, which have the duo with office-bearers of Vista.

Talking to media persons Mishra said the company is still functioning in Kantabanji and it has duped people of Rs 40 crore. “Though the depositors petitioned chief minister Naveen Patnaik against the company in December 2014, no action has been taken,” he said.

“I strongly demand investigation into Vista-related cases by Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch. The government should also take steps to return money of duped investors,” he said.