Bhubaneswar: A day after the state government giving the go-ahead, the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Crime branch of Odisha Police on Tuesday registered a criminal case against the Saradha Group which allegedly duped gullible investors in Balasore and Puri districts.
A team of the EOW on Tuesday rushed to Balasore and recorded statements of certain depositors at the district police headquarters in the Northen Odisha town.
"We have registered a case against the Saradha Group and its senior executives based on the statements of investors," a senior EOW official said. The team also visited office of the Saradha Group at Balasore town and found it locked, the official said adding that help of local police would be taken during the investigation. To begin with the EOW would record statements of depositors and collect evidence against the non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).
While a large number of investors collected near the district police headquarters at Balasore to record their statements, the small time depositors of Saradha Group staged a demonstration in Puri as an agent of the Group was beaten up by investors.
In Balasore and Puri, the two major centres of the group, people have invested above Rs 50 crore and Rs 20 crore respectively, preliminary investigation revealed. "The amount could be much more as some people in Sambalpur and Bhadrak
districts also claimed to have invested, officials said.
The Group has closed all its branch offices in the state including a small one at the state capital. Meanwhile, the Balasore district police also registered a case against Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, another NBFI operating in Odisha. "A case has been lodged against the AT's CMD Pradip Sethi and other officials," said Manoj Kumar Sahu, the police officer at Sahadev Khunta Police Station in Balasore.
According to allegations the AT has closed its office since July, 2012 the company has stopped paying dividend money on the basis of deposited amount.