BHUBANESWAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday submitted supplementary chargesheet in Artha Tatwa (AT) Group scam and named three more persons including former DSP of Crime Branch Pramod Panda and two directors of the ponzi firm.
The AT Group directors are Jagabandhu Panda and Manoj Patnaik who were first arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of Odisha Government in 2013. They were taken on remand by CBI in December last year.
All the three have been charged under Sections 120 (B), 420, 406 and 409 of Indian Penal Code as well as Sections 4/5/6 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Banning Act, 1956.
The former DSP was arrested on December 19 last year for his alleged links with AT chief Pradeep Sethy. Since his 120-day custody comes to an end next week, the CBI decided to submit chargesheet against him lest he could avail bail.
CBI had raided Pramod’s house on September 25 last year and stumbled upon documents which pointed to his nexus with Sethy. While Pramod is accused of receiving financial benefits from AT Group, Sethy had also purchased flight tickets to Delhi for him. There were several letters which Sethy had written from prison to Pramod which had landed in CBI net. The probe agency had also seized copies of the FIR in the chit fund case and chargesheet filed against Jagabandhu.
Later, the probe agency found funds flow to a computer education institution ZICA - which Pramod’s wife Geetanjali runs in Bhubaneswar - from unidentified sources. Upon verification, it was found to be from the AT Group accounts.
In case of the two AT directors, Jagabandhu had played a major role in floating money circulation schemes and he was also instrumental in creation of Swastik India, another chit fund firm. Besides, he had acquaintance with Pramod.
Pattnaik, on the other hand, dealt with the gold trading business of AT Group. Both were in CBI remand in December last year.
Meanwhile, the CBI on Friday raided the paternal house of Sudhir Behera, a director of Kolkata-based chit fund firm Royal International at Choudwar. A team of 10 officers arrived at Daulatabad area under Choudwar’s Ward 16 but found Behera’s house locked.
In West Bengal, nine more locations including residential and office premises of directors and top executives of the firm were searched during the day. DIG of CBI S Bagchi also arrived in the City and took stock of the investigation.
Seashore Audio Clip
An audio clip, purportedly a conversation involving a Seashore Group employee who alleges that a Minister and several MLAs have received financial favours from the ponzi firm, is under scanner of the CBI. The employee claims that he has evidence of kickbacks paid to 17 MLAs which includes a Minister in the BJD Government. He also says that he is in possession of a diary which lists the payments which run into several crores of rupees. The audio clip has been sent for authentication and voice matching.