In yet another major haul, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha government has seized one quintal silver and over a kilogram of gold from a bank locker of the Seashore Group of Companies in the city.
As part of its ongoing probe against the company, the enforcement agency opened the locker in the HDFC Bank’s Nayapalli branch which yielded 1000 silver coins and 212 gold coins. Seashore Group is a major accused in the chit fund scam.
The locker, where the metals were stashed away, had been sealed by the Income Tax Department last year during a raid on the company. After receiving a no objection certificate from the IT Department, an EOW team led by DIG Rajesh Kumar opened the locker on Thursday evening. On July 18, the EOW had seized one quintal of silver from the company’s locker in another private bank.
“We have set off the process for attaching the seizure so that it eventually goes through the necessary procedures resulting in reimbursement of the investors as provided under the newly enacted Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2011,” Additional DG, Crime Branch, Bijay Sharma told mediapersons here on Friday.
Although the case against the Seashore was registered before the Act came into force, he said, it will still come under the legislation’s ambit with retrospective effect. This will mean, the company will be the first to come under the coverage of the Act that requires defaulting finance companies to pay up through public auction of the their movable and immovable assets.
The EOW has already proposed the attachment of its assets to the ADM of Cuttack, who is the competent authority as per the Act. The competent authority will seek the designated court’s permission and take custody of the seizure following which the latter will hold a hearing to decide the auction as well as reimbursement process. Thereafter, it will chalk out a list of the investors eligible for repayment.
The Seashore Group, whose investor base is the highest among money circulation companies operating in the state, is facing as many as 38 cases across Odisha.
Sharma said, the agency is looking for more such assets since there is a huge gap between the investment made in the company and what has been seized so far.