In a fresh case, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the State Government on Wednesday arrested four top executives of a Bhubaneswar-based chit fund company that operated in four districts and duped people who had invested by way of “loans.”
From the 50-odd complaints that the EOW received, it is believed that the company, Utkal Bharati Trading House, may have mobilised well over `2.5 cr from the investors before it shut shop. The four arrested were Biswanath Behera, Trilochan Hota, Rabindra Nath Barik and Jyotirmaya Pradhan.
According to DIG (EOW) Rajesh Kumar, the company started operation in 2001 and spread its base mostly in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Angul. One of the striking features of the schemes Utkal Bharati Trading House floated was the company took loans from people, not deposits, to invest in various businesses.
“It offered interests ranging from 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent per month which was staggering and lured many people to its fold, but it did not invest in businesses as it claimed.
The company continued operation till 2010 and then one day shut down business,” the DIG said.
Initially, the firm paid the lenders regularly, but then started defaulting. A number of cheques issued by Utkal Bharati to the investors bounced.
The preliminary assessment by the EOW revealed that the company mobilised over `2.5 cr. After the investors complained, a case was registered under Sections 420, 406, 465, 471, 468 and 467 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 4/5/6 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978 and the four were held.