Saradha probe opens pandora

Bhubaneswar: When the identity of an influential person from Odisha, who took "no less than Rs 3crore in cash" over the last three years from Saradha boss Sudipto Sen as alleged by him in the letter to CBI is yet to be ascertained, the name of another person from Odisha has left the investigating officials in a tizzy, hinting at Saradha group’s financial umbilical cord with the eastern India state.
 
According to media reports, one Gobinda Prasad Giri’s name in the documents, papers and files of the collapsed group’s umbrella institutions, literally forced the officials to smell a rat in the Rs 20,000 crore financial fraud. 
 
Giri, who belongs to Jaleswar area of Balasore district was a director of a host of companies of the group along with Debjani Mukherjee, one of the main accused of the scam, officials suspect.
 
Investigators have also revealed that Giri was the director of as many as 77 companies which included the group's flagship firm – Saradha Realty. 
 
More so, he was a director of at least 18 companies where Debjani held the post of a director as well. 
 
The sleuths have also gone deep to establish that Giri was the in-charge of Saradha Group’s operations in Odisha, especially in Balasore, the epic centre of state’s recent chit fund scams and Sambalpur, in which places the Kolkata-based group had costly plots as admitted by Sen in the letter.
 
On the other hand, the 18-page letter has already established Sen’s Odisha links and mentioned about his cook Hemanta Kumar Pradhan, a man again from Balasore district’s Baliapal area who was made a director in one of his companies. Pradhan who was picked up by the Bishannagar police after the scam surfaced, was however released few days back after interrogation.
 
Such startling findings, involving Pradhan, Giri and the influential person who allegedly took Rs 3 core from Sen, have now prompted the investigating officials to run further for the company’s Odisha links.