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ED takes chit fund group chief Prashant Das on 14-day remand

Das was arrested from Mumbai on June 19, 2013 and is named in 37 cheating cases across the state.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneshwar | October 29, 2014 5:03:33 pm
main Seashore group chief Prashant Das being produced in Khurda sessions court. (Source: Express photo by Chandra Sekhar Sahoo)

A sessions court in Bhubaneswar allowed the Enforcement Directorate to take chit fund group Seashore group’s chief Prashant Das on a 14-day remand for interrogation in tracing the money trail in the multi crore chit fund scam.

Das was arrested from Mumbai on June 19, 2013 and is named in 37 cheating cases across the state. He is lodged in a jail in Koraput district over defrauding people in chit fund scam.

The Enforcement Directorate had moved the Khurdha district and sessions court here on September 19 to take Das on remand for interrogating him in the alleged Rs 700 crore chit fund scam by his group.

Last month, the CBI had raided premises of Seashore in Dhenkanal, Balasore districts including the houses of Das in Bhubaneswar. The
State CID which initially probed the case, had seized Seashore Group’s properties valued at more than Rs 300 crore.

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Established in 2004, the Seashore group started as a corporate agency of SBI Life Insurance, but soon forayed into a host of fields including money circulation, real estate, media, gold trading, insurance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, ayurveda, retailing, education, agriculture, FMCG, transport and food processing. It soon ventur to States like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Assam, Gujarat, Delhi, Meghalaya, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But the company cheated its investors who had deposited money allured by huge returns that it promised.

Last month, regional director of ED Yogesh Gupta wrote to Orissa chief secretary complaining about the inordinate delay in handing over the documents of chit fund group Artha Tatwa to probe allegations of money laundering in the Rs 500 crore Artha Tatwa chit fund scam under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.

In May this year, the Supreme Court had asked the CBI and ED to probe the 44 chitfund groups that defrauded lakhs of people in the State.

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