Bhubaneswar: The unfolding drama over the humungous financial frauds perpetrated by chit fund companies in Odisha took a new turn on Friday after an audio CD containing purported conversations between an alleged mastermind with two unidentified persons was telecast in OTV in its primetime bulletin Pratidin at 7pm. OTV telecast two separate conversations by one “Sethy Babu” and as the name AT (Aarthatatwa) was mentioned in the first conservation, the channel could only hazard a guess that Arthatatwa CMD Pradip Sethy possibly spoke regarding his company’s affairs with the duo separately. Pradip Sethy has been arrested by Commissionerate Police and currently lodged in a Bhubaneswar jail.

In the first conversation, a person spoke to Sethy Babu (perhaps Pradip Sethy) pertaining to Crime Branch probe (here the conversation is not entirely audible). The person informs Sethy Babu about microfinance companies being targeted and how it started with Seashore and the process is weakening now. The caller advises Sethy Babu that depositors must not lodge complaints and he should be able to handle that. The caller then informs Sethy Babu that it’s not possible to meet him now and no official letters can also be given. He requests Sethy Babu to do something as Banki Mahotsav is approaching. Sethy Babu in his reply requests the caller to give him time till the 7th of the month. The caller further says “I will ask Asish Babu to speak to you on 4th and 5th or I will speak to you directly”.

In the second conversation, a male voice resembling that of Sethy Babu (again perhaps Pradip Sethy) speaks to an unidentified person regarding payments from Jagneswar Babu, who is presently a prominent leader of Odisha Jana Morcha. Sethy asks the person whether he spoke to Jagneswar Babu regarding the payment. The unidentified person replies, “I’ve not spoken to him. But if you are asking me, then I can speak to him (Jagneswar Babu) today”. Sethy then asks whether Jagneswar is in a position to repay as he is busy traveling after forming a party. Both persons drag the conversation further and the unidentified person informs that as per calculations, he (Jagneswar) has perhaps 50 or 60 to repay. Sethy raises objections over this figure and says out of “dedha” (one and one-half), he has paid 20 to 25 and still much remains to be repaid.

The probe into the alleged chit fund scam in Odisha was so far confined to the arrests of the kingpins and unearthing and sealing of their properties. The links of the alleged masterminds with influential people so far remained hidden from public scrutiny. The telecast of the audio CD is likely to unmask the identity of some powerful persons who had murky dealings with the alleged kingpins of the chit fund scam.

The channel, however, clarified that it was not certain whether the CD was genuine or doctored. The channel has sent the CD to a laboratory to judge its authenticity.