Probe into functioning of 15 chit fund firms ordered

Bhubaneswar: With the Commissionerate Police digging deep to unearth and trace the alleged money circulation of multi state credit co-operative firms across the State, the Odisha government on Tuesday ordered probe into the functioning of as many as 15 such companies including the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group.

These firms are AT Group, SLB, Specimen, Swastik India, Sai Kishore, Vista Credit, Mideast, Sri Gayatri, Sunraj, Microfinance, Evos, Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Multistate, Green India, Utkal Multistate and Jansahyog Sahkari Credit Society.   

Informing this, minister for cooperation Bikram Keshari Arukh said, 15 teams comprising two members each have been formed to conduct detailed inspection on the functioning and financial irregularities, if any, by these firms.

The teams will also look into the money deposit schemes run by the companies which allegedly have duped thousands of gullible investors of crores of rupees, he added.

The Tuesday move followed the Centre’s recent directive to the state government to investigate the functioning of at least 15 organisations allegedly running illegal money business in Odisha.

The missive from the department of agriculture and cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture asked the State government to carry out fact finding inquiry to ascertain the operational status of the societies covering areas like business operation, membership position, compliance with statutory provisions etc.

Meanwhile acting tough on these firms, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch on Tuesday sealed a 3,000 sqft guest house owned by Seashore Group.  Yesterday, the sleuths had raided the Group’s 22-acre farmhouse at Barala village near Satyabadi in Puri district and after completing the legal formalities, the farmhouse was sealed.

The Commissionerate Police on Monday had unearthed Artha Tatwa group-owned properties worth Rs 130 crore.

The properties include 234 acres of land involving as many as 353 plots which spread over six districts such as Khurda, Ganjam, Angul, Puri, Balasore and Bhadrakh, police sources said.