BHUBANESWAR: Former MLA and senior leader of YSR Congress Party Malla Vijay Prasad was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch for duping investors over Rs 2 crore through a chit fund scheme in the State.
Prasad, currently chairman of Andhra Pradesh Education and Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation, is accused of duping more than 150 depositors in Bhubaneswar, Narasinghpur (in Cuttack district) and Nayagarh between 2009 and 2014, official sources in EOW said.
He was produced before a designated court at Cuttack on Tuesday and remanded in judicial custody. The former Visakhapatnam West MLA was held from his Seethammadhara residence in Visakhapatnam on Monday.
In 2016, the CBI had raided Prasad’s house and offices in connection with the alleged Rs 1,200 crore chit fund scam committed by Wellfare Building and Estates in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
As managing director of M/s Wellfare Building and Estates private limited, he along with two directors of the firm had allegedly promised investors high rate of interest on deposits under different schemes.
EOW’s investigation revealed that M/s Wellfare Building and Estates was initially registered with Registrars of Companies (ROC), Hyderabad. Later, the company was enlisted with ROC, Kolkata in 2011 with its head office in Visakhapatnam.
Wellfare Business and Estates operated in Odisha through its branch offices in Bhubaneswar, Narasinghpur and Nayagarh between 2009 and 2014. During the period, the firm reportedly lured depositors with schemes that promised to double their investments or provide plots in Visakhapatnam.
The company apparently closed its offices after collecting a huge amount of money from the investors. So far, EOW has collected documents from 150 depositors and the number could rise. EOW has information that the former Andhra Pradesh MLA’s company’s operation may have spread to some other parts of the State like Sambalpur district. However, probe is on to collect more details.
YSR Congress leader held by Odisha CB in chit fund scam
In 2019, the EOW had registered a case in this connection under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B IPC and Sections 4, 5 and 6 of Prevention of Corruption Act, Section 6 of the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act and the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act. However, before it could act, the Covid pandemic struck which the agency said delayed the action. “The accused was produced before a court in Visakhapatnam on Monday and brought on transit remand to Odisha. He was produced in OPID Court, Cuttack,” said Crime Branch ADG, Sanjeeb Panda.