Judicial probe ordered into chit fund scam

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government has decided to appoint a judicial commission to inquire into the alleged frauds committed by the chit fund companies including Saradha Group, Artha Tatwa, Seashore Group etc. A press release issued by the CM’s office here said, “The Hon’ble High Court will be requested to spare the services of a sitting judge of the HC for this purpose”.

The Commission will look into three aspects during probe.  While it will suggest measures to safeguard the interests of genuine investors affected by the recent incidents relating to the chit fund frauds, the Commission will probe and bring out the involvement of influential persons including politicians, bureaucrats and other sections of the society, if any, in protecting or promoting fraudulent chit fund companies.

Besides, it will also suggest safeguards for future to ensure financial security for the genuine investors and prevention of such problems in future.

The Government will request the Commission to submit its report in 3-month time.

Meanwhile, cracking down on ponzi scheme companies, the economic offences wing (EOW) of the State Crime Branch has also sealed Seashore Group’s nearly 15 immovable assets, including the company's head office at Patia in Bhubaneswar, branch offices at different places and industrial units at Jagatpur, near Cuttack, among others. Besides, movable assets including four expensive cars, have also been seized by the sleuths.

On May 27, police had arrested one Jagabandhu Panda, a former director of Artha Tatwa (AT) group in connection with the Rs 500 crore financial scam in the money circulation company.

Prior to this, the police had taken into custody AT group CMD Pradip Sethi and Srikrushna Padhi, a member of the Board of Directors of the group for allegedly duping thousands of gullible investors across the state.