More than two-and-a-half months after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) asked the Orissa government to provide documents related to the scam-hit Artha Tatwa chit fund group, the state government is yet to act on it.
Sources said the sub-zonal office of the ED in Bhubaneswar had asked the police for the documents in July to probe allegations of money laundering in the Rs 500-crore chit fund scam under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. “However, till date the government has not complied to our requests,” said a senior ED official requesting anonymity.
Among the 44 chit fund groups facing probe by the CBI as per May 2014 order of the Supreme Court, the Artha Tatwa is among the high-profile groups which were patronised by several leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal. So far nine persons, including fomer Advocate General Ashok Mohanty and two media house owners, have been arrested by the CBI in the case.
Apart from the CBI, the Supreme Court had also asked the ED to investigate into money laundering offences in these cases quickly.
The sources said in the last month ED regional director Yogesh Gupta wrote to the Orissa chief secretary complaining about the inordinate delay in handing over the documents of the Artha Tatwa. Incidentally, vice-chairman of SIT on black money, Arijit Pasayat at a meeting in August this year, had asked the state government to share all information relating to the chit fund case with the ED. During the meeting, it was decided that the chief secretary will provide all logistical support such as vehicles and security to the ED for probe.
The ED sources said that high-profile people, including several political heavyweights who allegedly helped the chit fund operator and made huge transaction in the last few years, would be interrogated.