BHUBANESWAR: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday requested the Khurda District and Sessions Court to confiscate property worth Rs 242 crore belonging to the Seashore Group.
The agency filed a formal complaint before the Sessions Court which is the designated court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
In the complaint, which named Managing Director of Seashore Group Prashant Kumar Dash and his brother Pravat Dash, the agency requested the court to launch prosecution and confiscation of the attached assets of the company. The ED had, in two tranches, attached assets worth over Rs 254 crore in 2014 and 2015. In December 2014, the agency had attached property worth Rs 158 crore of the company whereas in January last year, it attached Rs 84 crore worth of assets.
According to Assistant Director of ED Shivaji Nayak, the ED has sought prosecution and confiscation of assets which include land, buildings, bank balance, gold and silver coins.
The ED had attached Bhubaneswar Institute of Technology (BIT), a city-based technical institution valued at about Rs nine crore. Dash had allegedly pumped money into the institute. Seashore’s land at Angul, Sambalpur and Balangir, flour mill at Cuttack and cash to the tune of Rs 3.25 crore were also attached by ED apart from gold and silver.
The Economic Offences Wing of the Odisha Government, which first investigated the scam, had also confiscated property of Seashore Group.
Since two enforcement agencies have attached common property, the matter may land in the court of law.
Experts say the designated court of ED would have to write to the special courts of EOW on the matter. “In such cases, the ED may have an upper hand since it is governed by a Central law which could prevail over the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act which is a State legislation,” sources said. If this happens, the assets would go to the Central exchequer after the process is finalised.
Dash, who is currently in judicial custody, was primarily involved in illegal collection of deposits of Rs 500 crore from public with false promises of high returns and laundered the same investments by transferring it to the shell companies founded by him.
The ED in its investigation had found that Dash had floated 24 companies and 12 co-operative societies through which it allegedly defrauded thousands of investors by floating deposit schemes promising high returns and interest. ENS