Odisha intensifies crackdown on chit fund scams, 177 held

Bhubaneswar, May 17 (IANS) At least 177 people were arrested in different parts of Odisha during the past week for their involvement in illegal money circulation and chit fund activities, a police official said Friday.

The crackdown on the firms began May 10 and about 200 offices of 84 companies were raided, Rajesh Kumar, deputy inspector general (economic offence wing) of the crime branch police, told IANS.

The arrested include two people linked to Kolkata-based tainted Saradha Group, he said.

Also arrested was a branch manager of Saradha Group’s office at the district headquarters town of Balasore, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

“He had been working with the group since 2009,” Kumar said.

Police also arrested a man who was instrumental in the establishment of Saradha Group’s business in the state, Kumar said. Both were arrested Thursday.

During the raids, police recovered incriminating documents pertaining to various chit fund activities in the state involving illegal circulation of money.

Earlier in September last year, the crime branch had raided offices of Safex Infra India Ltd at Berhampur, Chhatrapur and Bhubaneswar after allegations that it was “illegally” collecting money from people promising high return.

Investigators had also raided the state offices of Seashore Group and Ashore Group in July and August, respectively, and had arrested many senior executives on similar charges. The companies denied any wrongdoing.

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