Chit Fund scam: CB takes Oak India MD on transit remand

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch police on Saturday arrested Omkar Singh, Managing Director of Oak India Multi-state Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, a chit fund company, on the charge of duping over Rs 15 crore from the people of Odisha.

According to reports, a team of EOW officials arrested Singh from Kolkata on Saturday and produced him in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate at Alipore. The court later allowed the EOW to take him on two-day transit remand to Bhubaneswar for further interrogation.

Till reports last came in, the interrogation of Singh by a special team of EOW officials was on in Bhubaneswar.

Sources in the Crime Branch said Singh had opened two chit fund companies—‘Ambitious Diversified Projects Management Ltd and Oak India Multi-state Credit Cooperative Society Ltd—in Odisha and later set up seven branch offices of these two companies in Berhampur, Balasore, Bhubaneswar and Koraput and collected over lakhs from the people under various schemes.

The Reserve Bank of India had earlier informed the Crime Branch about illegal monetary transaction of the company.

Acting on the information, the Crime Branch had registered an FIR against the company this year and launched a manhunt to nab the company officials.

Incidentally, the matter came to light two years after the company closed down its offices and branch offices in 2013.

Submitting a memorandum in the Badyanathpur police station in Berhampur on January 11 this year, 37 depositors, who had invested their money in the company, alleged that the Kolkata-based chit fund firm named, ‘Ambitious Diversified Projects Management Ltd (ADPML)’ has allegedly duped people of crores of rupees in different parts of Ganjam district and sought immediate action against the firm.

The duped investors said it was mentioned in the deposit certificates that the ponzi firm was headquartered at 19-B, Syed Amar Ali Avenue, First Floor, Kolkata-17 in West Bengal.

As per the memorandum, the company had opened a branch at the Tata Benz Square under the BN Pur Police station while its top functionaries were Omkar Singh of Kharagpur (MD), Kunal Tiwari of Kolkata (Chairman), Arshad Hussain of Howrah (Director) and Mriganka Sekhar Chakravarty of Upper Chelidanga (Deputy Director).

The firm had also appointed one B Sanjit Kumar Rao as its Odisha region and Berhampur branch chief and two others, V Soumyaranjan Raju and Ambati Sai Lakshmi to look after the business here. All the three officials are residents of Berhampur under the Bada Bazar police circle, the investors informed the police.

They said they had a suspicion on the modus operandi of the company as it changed its name to ‘OAK India Multi-State Credit Cooperative Society Limited and its head office address to the Glorious Space, East Topsia Road, Kolkata a few months ago.

Besides, it also changed name of its deposit product from ‘Non Convertible Secured Redeemable Debentures Certificate to Cooperative Society Certificate.

Meanwhile, the EOW officials are in the hunt for Kunal Tiwari and Arshad Hussain. The officials hope that it would be easier for them to nab the duo after collecting information from Singh during interrogation.