Odisha starts attaching chit fund group's properties

Bhubaneswar, Nov 11 : Odisha Monday started the process of confiscating properties of scam-tainted chit fund companies in the state to compensate duped investors, officials said.

The Crime Branch police have submitted a proposal to the state government seeking interim orders for attaching money and properties of the Seashore Group, comprising many companies, over the multi-crore-rupee chit fund scam.

The proposal has been submitted under the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2011, which received presidential nod in August, Rajesh Kumar, deputy inspector general, economic offences wing (EOW) Crime Branch, told IANS.

Crime Branch EOW sleuths, led by Kumar, had arrested Seashore group promoter Prashant Dash June 19 from Mumbai. They also raided his properties in different places and seized group's nine industrial units, six flats and 200 acres of land.

They also seized group's Rs.2 crore bank balance, 1.385 kg gold, 200 kg silver and about Rs.2 crore invested in different government enterprises.

The government will study the crime branch proposal and issue an ad-interim attachment order and send it for execution to the competent authority.

Within 30 days, the competent authority shall make a prayer to the designated court for making this ad-interim order absolute.

The designated court will conduct hearing and pass an order within 180 days. If the court passes an absolute order, the money and properties would be used to compensate investors, he said.

Seashore Group, which operates several businesses with the state government's health and tourism departments, has been accused of collecting money from people in the state by promising high returns.

Police had registered several cases against Dash and the group's five directors in July last year after a large number of investors lodged complaints against them for not returning the assured money.

Many of its directors are also behind bars.

Established in 2005, Seashore Group has been working in sectors, including insurance, healthcare, IT and telecom, media, retail, education and agriculture.

--IANS (Posted on 11-11-2013)

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