Saradha Group operations in Odisha under scanner

Bhubaneswar, April 30 (IANS) Odisha Police Tuesday said they are keeping a close watch on the operations of Saradha Group in the state after its chairman Sudipta Sena was arrested last week for duping chit fund depositors in neighbouring West Bengal.

Additional Director General of Police (Crime Branch) Bijoy Kumar Sharma said police have received complaints from two agents of the group. The two pretended to be victims though they facilitated the crime.

“We might register cases against them in a day or two and start an investigation. Appropriate action would be taken against the group if there was any illegalities,” Sharma told IANS.

Hundreds of depositors protested in the coastal towns of Balasore and Puri Monday, alleging that the agents of Saradha Group cheated them.

Sen, the chairman and managing director of the Kolkata-based Saradha Group, was arrested from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir April 23 with two of his associates following allegations that his companies duped thousands of investors.

Saradha Group is one of the largest chit fund companies in eastern India. It has also diversified into construction, realty, tourism, hospitality, agri-businesses and media. The alleged multi-crore rupee chit fund scam has created a political storm in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government said it would request the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to depute their officials to the state to investigate chit fund companies.

The state had passed an anti-fraud bill, the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in financial establishment) Bill, in April 2011. It is yet to get the president’s approval.

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