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Chit fund scam: ED seizes Rs 157 cr assets of Seashore

The Bhubaneswar zonal office of Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties of Seashore Group amounting to Rs 157 crore for violation of laws prescribed in Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The attached properties include over 100 acre land spread in Angul, Bhadrak and Puri districts, 10 flats and a plush office space near Chandka, outskirt of Bhubaneswar, a rice mill in Sundergarh and an oil mill in Mayurbhanj district, 200 kg silver coins and 1.4 kg gold.

Seashore is one of the 44 companies currently under the scanner of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating money trail of the firms as they are alleged to have raised several thousand crore rupees from investors by promising unrealistic returns.

The firm was already under probe by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of state police, which had last year attached the properties of the firm and was awaiting government approval to confiscate and auction the properties for returning the money to the investors, as per the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishment) Act, 2011.

However, ED took over the investigation after taking cognisance of complaints filed by Odisha police and the vigilance department and has now re-attached the properties. According to FIR filed by the agency, Seashore is accused of of running several ponzi schemes and perpetrating an estimated Rs 800 crore fraud duping numerous investors belonging to the state and a few others from West Bengal and Assam.

The firm’s managing director Prashant Dash is already under arrest since last year and has been questioned by the CBI in its money trail probe.

Established in 2005-06, the group entered into money deposit collection, real estate, media and gold trading within a short span. It had signed several agreements with state government to develop tourism spots, development of solar power plant, maintaining hospitals and establishing a corn processing unit.

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