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Chit fund scam: CBI raids houses of BJD leader Pravat Tripathy

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing into the multi million crore chit fund scam in Odisha on Saturday raided two houses of senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Pravat Tripathy for his alleged links with the Artha Tatwa Group.

The Artha Tatwa (AT) Group is among 44 firms under CBI scanner for duping thousands of investors in the state through fraudulent money circulation schemes.

The central agency is understood to have seized some key documents during raids at Tripathy’s houses.

Though Tripathy confirmed the raids, he denied seizure of documents from his residences.

“The raids happened when I was not present at my house. But the CBI has not seized any document. I am not a beneficiary of any chit fund company. Since the CBI probe is on, let us wait till the investigation is completed”, the BJD MLA told reporters.

As many as 25 teams of the CBI raided around 50 locations in Odisha in connection with the chit fund operations of the AT Group. Three flats in Bishnupriya Apartments in IRC Village area of Nayapalli locality in the city were raided.

Three former directors of AT Group- Jaiprakash, Jyotiprakash and Ramakant Dhir, who were earlier staying in two flats in Bishnupriya Apartments on rent had later purchased these flats. Presently, their family members are residing in these apartments.

The CBI raided these flats apart from the one in which Prasanna Sethy, brother of AT Group chairman Pradip Sethy is residing.

Moreover, the CBI has raided the ancestral house of Pradip Sethy in Berhampur where his father Udayanath Sethy is presently staying.

The central agency has also raided the residence of Sanjeeb Khuntia at the Housing Board Colony in Khurda. Khuntia was a director with the AT Group.

Multiple teams of the central agency began raids early today in Bhubaneswar, Balasore and Berhampur. The sleuths searched the houses and offices of the directors of the AT Group and their relatives at these places.

Pradeep Sethy and four directors of the AT Group, one of the biggest players in the chit fund scam in Odisha, are lodged in jail over charges of duping depositors’ funds wroth crores of rupees.

During his interrogation Sethy had said that several political leaders, bureaucrats and journalists had taken kickbacks from his company.

The total value of all properties of AT Group sought to be confiscated is estimated at Rs 400 crore.

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