Four officials of Morning Star Venture Limited, a non-banking financial institution, were arrested by Betnoti police in Mayurbhanj district on the charges of duping people of crores of rupees.
Police said the company was opened in 2009 by Chakrapani Sarangi, brother-in-law of Seashore Group of Companies CMD Prashant Dash.
The company had mobilised Rs 120 crore from Mayurbhanj and its neighbouring districts by promising the investors to pay interest at the rate of two per cent per month.
The arrested are area manager Janmejaya Sahu and his brother Bijay Kumar Sahu of Muktapur, Umesh Chandra Giri of Nadapur and Ranjan Kumar Das of Adia Sahi. Police seized their mobile phones and money receipts, bonds and other documents from their possession.
Having its corporate office in the Sai Bhavan at Patia in Bhubaneswar, the company had opened its branch near Betnoti Dharmasala. Though Sarangi was its CMD, the company was allegedly functioning under the direct supervision of Dash after Seashore’s business declined considerably in the region.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the company had collected deposits from 15,000 people. While depositors were promised returns with an interest rate of 24 per cent per annum, the agents were getting 16 to 18 per cent from each deposit. It, however, shut down its branches following Crime Branch raids on Seashore Group offices.
The depositors lodged police complaints as they were not paid the maturity value of their deposits as promised by the company after expiry of the term. Their attempts to contact the authorities of the company did not yield any result. They had also approached ADG (Crime Branch) to take immediate action against the company officials.
They arrested persons were produced in court on Monday which remanded them in judicial custody. Police have written to all banks to freeze Morning Star Venture Limited’s accounts.