Chit fund scam: Ex-Odisha advocate general held | india | Hindustan Times
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Chit fund scam: Ex-Odisha advocate general held

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Odisha’s former advocate general Ashok Mohanty from his residence in Cuttack for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam by state based Artha Tatva (AT) group.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2014 16:36 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Odisha’s former advocate general Ashok Mohanty from his residence in Cuttack for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam by state-based Artha Tatva (AT) group.

“My conscience is clear and I have not done anything wrong. Truth will prevail,” Mohanty told reporters after his arrest.

No CBI officer was available for comment.

Mohanty’s arrest is a huge embarrassment for Odisha government.

On September 13 – a day after the state government accepted his resignation – Mohanty was interrogated for about three hours by the CBI about his alleged links with AT group chief Pradip Sethy, who is now in jail.

Mohanty had bought a house in Cuttack from Sethy in February last year at a cost of more than Rs. 1 crore. The purchase was made at a time when there was an operative warrant against Sethy and he had moved the court for an anticipatory bail. The bail was eventually denied.

Sources said Mohanty could not provide a satisfactory explanation about the transaction to the CBI during his interrogation.

The CBI has so far arrested eight persons including Mohanty, three media barons, a real estate broker and a Mumbai-based stock exchange broker.

The alleged chit fund scam in Odisha is said to be worth thousands of crores of rupees. It came to light two years ago after depositors complained that several chit fund companies swindled them of their hard earned money after promising high return on their deposits.

The Odisha government had ordered a probe into the scam by the state police.

In May this year, the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to probe the scam. The CBI has registered 44 cases against chit fund companies in Odisha.

The central investigation agency has also registered four cases against such companies including Saradha Group in West Bengal.