BHUBANESWAR/BALASORE : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) continued to trail the links of BJD Legislator Pravat Tripathy with Artha Tatwa (AT) Group by raiding two banks at Banki on Wednesday.
Two separate teams searched the branches of Odisha Gramya Bank (OGB) and Central Cooperative Bank and verified the accounts of Banki Mahotsav Committee, a forum headed by the BJD MLA. The annual Banki Mahotsav is hosted by the committee.
A three-member team searched Ranapur branch of OGB while another team simultaneously raided Central Cooperative Bank. In both the branches, the accounts of the committee were examined to ascertain as to where the finances for the annual event came from.
The investigating agency got the lead in the case following seizure of audio tapes which did the rounds last year when the chit fund scam surfaced. In the audio tapes, a person purported to be Tripathy was in conversation with AT Group chief Pradip Sethi seeking funds for Banki Mahotsav.
Meanwhile, fresh cases of ponzi companies cheating people have surfaced in Balasore district. The Sahadevkhunta Police on Wednesday arrested two directors of Wisemen Resources India Limited (WRIL) in this connection. They were accused of duping the depositors of over `2 crore.
Its directors, Ramesh Chandra Patra and Pravash Saran Jena, were produced in a court which remanded them in judicial custody after their bail pleas were rejected.
The company had collected the money from the people of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts promising them astronomical returns in a short span of time. While the company had five directors, earlier its Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) Anil Kumar Patra was arrested following a written complaint lodged by one Narayan Sahu of Bamapada here.
IIC of Sahadevkhunta police station Paresh Kumar Rout said the two were named in the same case registered against them on June 2. Though Anil was arrested, others absconded. While Ramesh was nabbed from Baripada, Pravash was apprehended from Balasore,” he said. The company had in fact shut down its offices following CB raids on the chit fund companies last year. Since then, the directors had promised to refund their money, but in vain.