CBI on Award Trail of Ponzi Firm Chiefs

Published: 25th October 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: Digging deep into the political nexus in the chit fund scam, the CBI on Friday sought to examine how ponzi firm chiefs like Pradip Sethy managed to win top Cooperator Awards using their clout.

Tareswar Das, the office superintendent of Odisha State Cooperative Union (OSCU), an apex cooperative society with the mandate to promote cooperative movement in the State, was grilled by the CBI in this connection on Friday.

Official records relating to award announcements, recommendations and nomination for last three years were also submitted by Das to the probe agency.

Sources said, the CBI is gathering more evidence about the award nomination process pertaining to its investigation on Artha Tatwa Group affairs. BJD’s Banki legislator Pravat Tripathy is under the agency’s scanner for his alleged links with Sethy.

With the Orissa High Court rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, Sethy could well find himself in the dock if the investigating agency finds any credible proof.

The AT Group chief had won the Best Youth Cooperator Award for 2011 when Tripathy was president of the cooperative union. If the official records and quizzing of Das validate the links, the former Government Chief Whip may be staring at CBI action.

Interestingly, apart from Sethy, another chit fund scam accused Ranjan Das was also in the race for such an award.

The CBI sources said, the Ponzi firms may have used the awards to derive mileage for their business since a Government recognition goes a long way in gaining investors’ confidence.

If people like Sethy used political clout to bag the award, it may establish a certain nexus. The official records at CBI’s disposal could come handy in this regard.

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