The CBI has sought all documents from the Orissa government on the alerts issued by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in 2011 against Seashore chit fund company running a money circulation scheme.
Two letters were issued by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in February and March 2011 to the Orissa chief secretary when Seashore was collecting a huge amount of money from investors assuring them of high returns. The then chief secretary B K Patnaik had forwarded the alert to Abhay, former inspector general of CID, for action.
The SIT formed by the CBI in a recent letter to the state government asked it to send the entire file relating to the alerts. Sources said the documents would help the agency determine whether the Orissa government deliberately turned a blind eye to the central agency’s warnings of an impending scam.
Of all the chit fund firms being probed, Seashore has turned out to be the most explosive after the CBI officials found a diary and a bunch of envelopes from fixer Subhankar Nayak’s apartment. The envelopes contained the names of senior officials such as DIG Rajesh Kumar and joint secretary in PMO Anu Garg as beneficiaries of the scam.
In its alerts, the agency had warned that Seashore was collecting deposits from its investors offering a high interest rate. The firm in its account books showed the dividend of Rs 99.85 crore as expenditure.
The firm had no commensurate business income to make such huge interest payments and in effect it was running a money circulation scheme.
Despite being aware of this, the state Tourism Department had signed an MoU with Seashore in November 2011 for development of five tourist spots — Atri, Ranipur-Jharial, Nrushinghnath, Harishankar and Boating Club in Cuttack.
In June, 2012, the group sealed a deal with the Co-operation Department to run storage units at Jagatsinghpur, G Udaygiri, Barpali, Jeypore and Banei. It had also inked an MoU with the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency for setting up a solar power plant at Titilagarh in Balangir district.
Meanwhile, the government is looking for ways to compensate some of the victims of the scam on the basis of an interim report of the R K Patra Commission.
Over 5 lakh chit fund scam victims have been compensated in West Bengal in a similar scam.