KOLKATA: In a major catch, CBI today arrested Arindam Das alias Bumba considered a close aide of the Saradha group Chairman Sudipta Sen who was allegedly one of the masterminds behind the money spinning scheme.
Official sources said Das had allegedly gone absconding since August last year when he was called for questioning by CBI in connection with the ongoing probe.
He was arrested this morning from Sealdah station in Kolkata, the sources said.
"The arrested accused was one of the close associates of said Group's CMD and he was instrumental in expanding the alleged illegal deposit collection business of the Group in the 24 Parganas(South) and other districts of West Bengal. He used to look after all the deposit collection in the areas under his control," CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said in Delhi.
The spokesperson said Das was also named in a number of FIRs registered in connection with the alleged Chit Fund Scam at Baruipur, Sonarpur, Canning, Arambagh, Dubrajpur, Srirampur, Chanditala, Chandannagore, Durgapur and other police stations of West Bengal.
"He had gone into hiding after CBI had called him for examination during August last year. He kept on changing his place of stay to evade his likely arrest by CBI. Considering his vital role in this mega chit fund scam, the SIT of CBI was constantly making efforts to trace him," she said.
She said considering his vital role in this mega chit fund scam, the SIT of CBI was constantly making efforts to trace him.
"After continuous efforts made for the last nine months, CBI has today arrested him for his alleged involvement in the scam," she said.
"A case was registered on June 4th, 2014 on the directions of the Supreme Court dated 2014 passed in writ petition No 401 of 2013 against then CMD of Group of Companies and others in Chit Fund Scam in West Bengal U/s 120-B(criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 406 and 409 of IPC," the CBI spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said it was alleged that the accused persons of the said Group collected huge funds from investors under various investment schemes by fraudulently promising them of high returns but the said group did not pay the amount to the innocent investors and thereby cheated them.
It is alleged that Das was running the operations of Saradha group in 24 Parganas (south) of West Bengal, CBI sources said.
The Supreme Court had handed over the Saradha chit fund scam probe to CBI and asked the state governments to provide all logistical help to the agency.
CBI has formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by Joint Director Rajiv Singh to also probe the role of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and RBI.
"The investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like SEBI, Registrar of Companies and officials of RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered," an apex court bench headed by Justice TS Thakur had said in its order.